....that precious booty, the rounds and the rings they had reft erewhile, hardy heroes, from hoard in cave - trusting the ground with treasure of earls, gold in the earth, where ever it lies: Beowulf extract and translation from final chapter XLIII

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Staffordshire Saxon Feasibility Report Flipbook: 30 March 2012


(Extract from Section 7.3 of Executive Summary)

The Staffordshire Saxon is undoubtedly a wonderful project and is clearly supported by a number of stakeholders and being delivered by a passionate team of talented individuals. However, what is needed now is to pause at this interim stage whilst considering the bigger cultural and economic opportunity; to consult and engage fully with the wider public and stakeholders; and then begin to professionalise and harmonise the whole design and delivery methods as if this was a major piece of architecture or engineering (it is) being prepared by one unified vision (I would argue it is not as yet). Translating the list of enabling recommendations from this feasibility into a creative list of outputs to help support the delivery of the Staffordshire Saxon is in a sense simple to visualise, but an altogether more daunting one to practically facilitate and then realise. However, if Staffordshire Saxon Ltd plough-on full speed ahead to fund, develop and realise just the Staffordshire Saxon in isolation, no matter how altruistic in it's aims or clear in it's own vision, I believe it may not necessarily be to the benefit of either the artistic project itself, the wider community, region and Staffordshire Hoard it sets out to benefit in the first place. Iconic status is also not a guarantee just because of size and worthy Hoard association. It is not to say that everything in this bigger picture needs to be engaged and funded all at once, merely to say that in the same way a truly visionary idea, business plan model and company aims and objectives are all a core requisite before commercial commencement. The Angel of the North may well have achieved all that rather unconsciously when it was conceived in the late 1990s, and it may have gone on to grow a whole cultural revolution to the North East. However it should be remembered both, that this was created by an internationally-revered artist at the top of his game and given a contemporary free-reign; and that those were different times, and when arts funding via a fledgling Big Lottery and the impending Millennium were at their most ambitious and unrestricted. Times are far different now post-recession, and major cuts to Arts Council and arts development provisions within Local Authorities mean that arts and culture is increasingly being absorbed into more holistic and output-led considerations - ones where community engagement, sustainability, tourism and regional marketing all want their slice of the cultural pie. With this more process led approach, the quality of the output is sometimes overlooked - or taken as gospel that it will automatically achieve greatness 'because it is art' and is inspired and made honestly and locally. This is not the case and there are far more examples of gloriously ambitious public art failures cluttering the landscape than there are successes. It is suggested that, if adopted and then realised, the enabling recommendations and creative actions would add further dimensions to the already well-considered but only partly-resourced Staffordshire Saxon sculpture project itself. Seen as important strands of added value, these layers of 'additionality' have the potential to further boost the artistic image and engagement potential of the project, as well as of course contributing even more positively to: the profile of the Staffordshire Hoard; the area’s ongoing cultural and regeneration agendas; and the continued growth of both the local and regional business, skills and visitor economy generally. Essential to it all though is the absolute need to sing from one sheet and for their to be one clear artistic lead over and above all others. The Staffordshire Saxon delivery is currently operating in piecemeal fashion and this is not coherent or sustainable. The partnership needs to set out and agree on clear aims and ambitions through its new company structure, and then also make sure that the arts, cultural & creative considerations, cultural tourism business & funding plan, and charitable governance models are all equally balanced and not compromising one another. Then when fully considered and resourced the Staffordshire Saxon will be in a strong position achieve all it aspires for - and of course deserves.

Ian Banks 
Director Atoll Collaborative
30th March 2012

Express & Star 26 March 2016

Giant M6 Saxon warrior statue 'would be in the wrong place'

This giant statue of a Saxon warrior, inspired by the discovery of the Staffordshire Hoard, could appear near the M6 in the county.

But the proposal for the 114ft monument near Stoke has already been criticised, as the site would be more than 30 miles from where the hoard was found.
Council bosses want to spend £3.5million on the warrior in connection with the hoard, the largest collection of Anglo-Saxon gold ever unearthed found in Hammerwich near Burntwood.

Lichfield District Councillor Ken Humphreys, who represents Hammerwich, said: "I have seen what they are hoping to do and I am not happy with it being so close to the M6 where it will be more of distraction than a monument, and the fact that Stoke is the wrong place for it."

"But I am not in favour of it at all really.

"The sort of money its going to cost could be better used for permanent displays of the hoard in Lichfield."

Stoke-on-Trent City Council, which is behind the plans for the statue, has stated the city has its own 'special significance' to Anglo Saxon history.
While much of the hoard is on display at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Stoke.

Read more at http://www.expressandstar.com/news/local-news/2016/03/26/giant-saxon-warrior-statue-would-be-in-wrong-place/#hhe82ESzR1izwD4j.99

ITV Report 23 March 2016

Could this be the 'Anglo of the North'? Support growing for giant 114ft statue above M6 near Stoke-on-Trent

An impression of what the Warrior would look like if built in Staffordshire

An impression of what the Warrior would look like if built in Staffordshire Credit: Copyright Andy Edwards

Support is growing for a 114 foot high statue which would overlook the M6 at Stoke-on-Trent.

The statue of a Saxon Warrior would pay tribute to the Staffordshire Hoard which was found in a field near Lichfield in 2009.

The City Council says the statue would "put the city on the map" potentially boosting tourism and the local economy. Almost half the £3.5million needed has already been raised.
A local sculptor, who is famous for being the artist behind The Beatles on the Waterfront in Liverpool, said the benefits of the Warrior would be great.
The Angel of the North is one of the most viewed pieces of art in the world attracting millions of views a year. It’s estimated it attracts £4million of income to Gateshead every year.
Authorities in Liverpool estimate the Beatles statue attracts £8million of business to the city each year.
But as well as attracting business and publicity, our own Saxon Warrior situated near the motorway would be a signpost to our city, to learning resources and leisure attractions.
The fact that he has waited over 1,000 years to give up the secrets of the Hoard and tell his story is symbolic of our city’s patience to wait for it to be our time.

Thursday, 31 March 2016

City News (Spring 2016)

Article on the Staffordshire Saxon from the City News. Click on this link to view the article pdf.