‘The Formation of Poetry’
Lichfield’s first new public sculpture for over 50 years was unveiled on Saturday 18th September 2010. The ceremony saw the Mayor, Cllr Spruce and Peter Barrett, Chairman of the Samuel Johnson Society, officially unveil the artwork.
Entitled the ‘Formation of Poetry’, and made by artist Peter Walker the sculpture is a 3m long bronze artwork, designed as a tribute to the legacy of Dr Samuel Johnson who wrote the first English dictionary.
It has been created from designs developed by students at The Friary School, who worked with the artist through a design project in 2008, to develop their own ideas as to the type of art they would like to see on the Cities streets. The sculpture has been inspired by the way in which Samuel Johnson used poetry within the dictionary, as a means of establishing the true nature of the English Language.
The sculpture was made at Chasewater Innovation Centre, as the sculptor Peter Walker, is from the area, and wanted where possible to maintain local links throughout the project. An invited group including councillors and school students were treated to a preview of the work in late April, and the design of the sculpture were greeted with excitement and enthusiasm. Peter’s sculpture is widely collected both nationally and internationally, and he has created a number of significant public works around the UK.
The sculpture which has been funded by Tesco forms the central part of a major investment in local arts, in our ongoing projects, which have seen local people being offered the opportunity to take part in many art workshops. During the summer over 1000 people were involved in the project. The art workshops relate to the cities four most famous historic figures, Samuel Johnson, Erasmus Darwin, Anna Seward and David Garrick and took place between May and November 2010. By completion of this project there was a total of 104 workshops carried out which represented a major opportunity for local people to work with a professional artist to learn skills, and participate in the development of art.