To celebrate the end of the Combe Down Stone Mines Stabilisation Project the Homes and Communities Agency made funding available for commissioning public art. The aim of the public art project was to mark the successful stabilisation of the mines, celebrating their social and natural histories, the tradition of work there, and the village and its residents.
The public art project, devised by public art consultants Frances Lord and Steve Geliot, resulted in almost two years of activity, events, residencies and commissions involving Combe Down residents, schools and the Stone Mines project team.
The commissioned artists created a collection of temporary and permanent artworks and, in the process, worked closely with many residents of Combe Down who helped shape the ideas for artworks, ensuring that the works created reflect the rich and fascinating history of the village.
A steering group was set up to guide the direction of the public art project and its legacy. Ideas developed by the consultants were circulated for comment to the Legacy Group, and were then presented at several public consultation meetings. Of the eleven project ideas initially presented, six were fully developed and costed within the budget.
A sub-group, which included residents representing a number of interest groups and societies in the village, interviewed the artists based on the consultants' short-lists. 'Meet the Artist' sessions held at the church, pub, rugby club and the Information Centre provided informal opportunities for residents to hear about the artists' previous projects and aspirations for the commissions, and for artists to discuss ideas and present design proposals.