Commissioned through Working pArts for Allerdale Borough Council: A new town square for Workington, Cumbria, as part of their town centre regeneration. 2006
Coastline: the border between land and sea. To dramatic effect, Hitchens's tall central sculpture (the worlds largest ever solid pour of polyurethane resin at the time), paving and bespoke sculptural seating, combine the materials of hard granite and crystal clear resin to represent earth and water. This use of materials reflects the town centre's redevelopment; on one side of the square there are new and contemporary designed buildings, forward looking and modern, whilst on the other there are the traditional building styles which characterise this area of Cumbria. The paving of the entire square is designed as a map of the Cumbrian coastline, centred on Workingtopn and the River Derwent. The landmark sculpture marks the point where the centre of Workington exists on the map. The public seats are made from huge Shap granite boulders, rough in their quarried form on the outside and polished and carved on the inside. Nine of the seats are lit at night by fibre optics. The contrasts between fluidity and stillness, rough and smooth textures, hard and liquid materials, are stark. These juxta positions make apparent the central theme. The different elements of the design are brought together so that the whole square is seen as a large-scale, sculptural artwork as opposed to a civic development.
“The great value of bringing artists into the regeneration process is that they have the confidence and the vocabulary to react creatively to what they find. Simon is articulate in a range of contrasting materials and processes; granite and resin, casting and carving, using light and line; and he has shown himself able to absorb the peculiarities of place whilst retaining the integrity of his own sculptural voice.”
- Geoff Wood, Director, Working pArts.