SANDS Memorial Sculpture – National Arboretum – Alweras, Staffordshire
In 1999/2000 artists, Hannah Sofaer, Paul Crabtree and John Roberts worked with Nicholas Newton, landscape designer, to realise the SANDS Memorial project at the National Arboretum in Alweras, Staffordshire. The garden dealt with the theme of neo-natal and early death of children – a subject that is very emotional for visitors to the garden.
The garden is a contained and contemplative space, with the base of the sculpture forming a seating area for both adults and children, inviting all ages to sit and touch the central carved figure of the baby.
The brief given by John Stokes of the Tree Council Great Britain and Neil Long of SANDS was to develop a sculpture based on the Sands Logo based on a child in the centre of an eye with a tear drop. The design that we produced was centred on a carving in Portland stone, from Independent Quarry, of a newly born child within a circular base made from Bowers Quarry Saunders Whitbed –where we used the different beds of Portland stone strata to communicate previous environments and the life they supported, shown through the detail in fossils and shells.
There was a dedication service for the garden and sculpture held at Lichfield Cathedral in July / August 2000, with people attending the service from across the UK.