18 October 2022

Stone carvings unveiled on Swanage Pier

Stone carvings unveiled on Swanage Pier

GCSE Fine Art students have seen their carefully crafted stone carvings installed on Swanage Pier in the culmination of a nine-month project in conjunction with both The Swanage Pier Trust and the Burngate Stone Carving Centre.

The stones, which were carved over several visits to the Burngate Centre, have been mounted on wooden plinths and installed along the length of Swanage Pier.  As Art Teacher Mrs Saganic says, the culmination of this project is 'art creating art' as visitors to the pier will now be able to create their own art rubbings from the carvings that have been made by the students, using crayons, chalks or paints. The durability of the medium of stone means that the art trail, which was conceived as part of the celebrations for the 125th anniversary of the pier, will be available to visitors for many years to come. 

Students were joined by Ginny Carvisiglia, the Learning & Education Officer for The Swanage Pier Trust, and members of the Allsort'd Group, to view their work in situ and to try out the carvings for the first time. 

Group including students and young adults pose standing on Swanage Pier

Two students and one adult do stone carving rubbings on Swanage Pier

During the project, students not only studied the traditional craft of stone carving but also learnt about the local heritage of the quarrying industry and the pier, deepening their understanding of the important social, natural and historical context in which their artwork would sit.

A group of students learns stone carvings

A visit to Haysom's Quarry took place on a wet and windy day at the start of the project, where students learnt about Purbeck Stone and the importance of quarrying to our local economy.  Students also toured the Pier and heard from staff about its long history, the natural environment surrounding it and its use over the years. 

Many of the nine carvings feature marine designs to reflect the environment, including starfish, dolphins, seahorses and jellyfish. One depicts a Victorian lamp post, drawing inspiration from those on the pier, and another features a gribble worm - a marine isopod which bores into wood and therefore is a constant threat to the vertical piles that support the pier. 

Congratulations to Alfred, Ava, Charlotte, Lily, Lola, Mollie, Olivia, Wicktoria and Zack. 


All Art News