Significant gateway commission for strategic development
FrancisKnight has been appointed to manage a significant gateway public art commission for a strategic development at Ashmere.
Ashmere is part of four distinct development areas in Ebbsfleet’s Garden City a modern interpretation of the UK’s garden city heritage, which proposes to deliver up to 15,000 homes.
Ashmere is the former Eastern chalk quarry and is a joint venture between Countryside and Clarion to provide up to 2,600 dwellings on the development.
The location for the gateway commission is at the entrance to the site and will explore the unique identity of the surrounding landscape, its chalk white cliffs, blue water lakes and green surrounding landscape.
Jo Chapman has been appointed as the artist who will collaborate with FrancisKnight and partners Countryside Partnerships, Latimer by Clarion Housing Group and Henley Camland on the significant gateway public art commission at Ashmere, Ebbsfleet Garden City.
Jo, who lives and works in Suffolk, has vast experience in working in the public realm on large-scale commissions including projects in the UK, France, Ireland and India. Her ability to take inspiration from the effects of time and draw beauty from her surroundings will complement the unique identity of the chalk white cliffs, and green surrounding landscape of the Ashmere development.
Planning permission was granted by Ebbsfleet Development Corporation for the Ashmere Gateway sculpture in early 2023, allowing the project to move into production stages.
Once complete, this sculpture will stand at the entrance of Ashmere, in an elevated position at approximately six metres high on the terraced landscape. It will play on the idea of stacked drawing chalks and use this simple cylindrical shape to build into a large sculpture composed of multiple elements.
Inspired by the soft colours of drawing chalks, the sculpture will explore geometric patterns and colours. It is intended to have a light-hearted approach that makes visible one of the many end products of quarrying chalk.
The use of strong colours will stand out against the trees and landscaping at the entrance so it can be seen from a distance on the surrounding roads and paths. The organic-shaped profile of the sculpture is inspired by the shapes of flint and chalk found at the site.