PMSA National Recording Project - South Yorkshire

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough

We are carrying out research on the pieces on these pages.
If you have further information or revisions to the material above please contact me, Dave Ball, by e-mail or telephone: 0114 225 6213 with the details.
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ArtistMaker: BRAILSFORD, Victoria / David MAYNE
TitleOfWork: Wath Headlands "Parish Map"
DescriptionOfPhoto: view of floor with darker areas representing coal seams
DateOfCreation: 1997
Dimensions: various
Medium: cast iron, steel, black Kilkenny limestone, coloured concrete, stone
Location: The lake at Wath Manvers
AtoZReference: p.41 3F
TownOrVillage: Wath upon Dearne
AreaInTown: Wath Headland
MetropolitanBorough: Rotherham
Photographer: Dave Ball
ImageCopyright: Sheffield Hallam University
AccessionNumber: r006h
Description: A number of co-related artworks are sited on the Headland.

At the entrance to the site is Vic BRAILSFORD's 'Stone columns'.
Two square pillars made up of layers of different stone whose thicknesses correspond to the geological strata under the site.

At the far end of the site are two laser-cut stainless steel maps: these were cut into stainless steel plate showing, in stencil format, One shows a cross section of the rock, coal seams, shafts etc for Wath Main Colliery; the other shows a map from c.1930 (containing railway sidings etc) and also one from c.1997 of the site. The artists had a cutting made through the prominent mound at the end of the Headland. The sides of the cutting were clad in black limestone; a reference to coal and to mining. The maps were bolted onto the sides of the cutting.

On the landward side of the above is a flat circular area containing four elements:
1. A coloured concrete floor with a design representing coal seams and rock strata.
2. A cast iron ring surrounding the floor. This was developed from working with 30 different schools, community groups etc. The ring contains a number of individual elements which chart the history of the area from the Carboniferous through to the present. It includes subject matter of various kinds including Geological, Agricultural and Industrial themes. Themes identified on the tiles include: " Dearne & Dove Canal / Great Central Railway 1850-1986 / Fossil Fuel Giant Club Moss / Carboniferous Period 345 Million Years Ago / Fire Heat Energy / Bituminous Anthracite / Hull & Barnsley Railway 1902-1954 / Coal Coke Lignite / Wath Main Colliery 1876-1986 / Midland Railway 1840-1987 "
3. Two benches made from slabs of black Kilkenny limestone sited
4. painted mild steel and stainless steel viewpoint sculptures. These take the form of thin metal pyramids with a hole at eyelevel through which the eye is directed to a particular section of the landscape. Each one points towards the sites of pits and adjacent villages; details about which can be read on a plaque on each sculpture. The pyramids are all topped with a flame-like elements of stainless steel; these represent regeneration and industry. [1]

Inscriptions: A stainless steel plaque on site records the following information:
"The Wath upon Dearne Parish Map was designed and developed by artists Victoria Brailsford and / David Mayne in conjunction with local schools and community groups under the guidance of the / Dearne Community Arts Panel. /
The Map records the heritage of the area and the many changes in the landscape which have / taken place, culminating in the regeneration of Manvers during the period 1989-1997. The Map / has been funded by English Partnerships, the Dearne Valley Partnership, Yorkshire & Humberside / Arts and Rotherham Borough Council. /
The Map was officially opened by / the worshipful the Mayor of Rotherham, Councillor G. Smith, / on 23rd October 1997. /
GROUPS AND SCHOOLS TAKING PART / [there follows a list of 11 local schools, two Brownies and one Guides Group, Dearne Valley College, Wath Community Association and Wath Arts Committee] "

Commission: Funded by English Partnerships, the Dearne Valley Partnership, Yorkshire & Humberside / Arts and Rotherham Borough Council. [2]

Comment: The former railway sidings on the site, which served the many coal pits in the surrounding area, was the largest in Europe. No traces of it remain.
Sadly there has been a lot of vandalism to this work. It is believed that this was the work of a small group of young children living in the area. [3] Security during the installation of these pieces was also a problem; the artists had to hire a security firm to mount guard over the site at night while this work was underway. [4]
The redevelopment of this site, the Manvers Regeneration Scheme (Lake and Golf Course Rotherham), won a Landscape Award in 2000 under the Civic Trust Award Scheme. A plaque onsite records this.

References: [1] Conversation with David Mayne (23/3/2003)
[2] James Copp document: "List of projects - 1990-1999."
[3] Conversation with passer-by.
[4] Conversation with David Mayne (23/3/2003)

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Last updated September 18, 2006