Waterwheel Transcript

Duration: (02:28)

This is Water Wheel by David Kemp. It stands here at the entrance to Burrs Country Park, welcoming all who visit. To day this is a centre for leisure and outdoor recreation but don’t let the tranquillity fool you. It was once very different. At the height of the Industrial Revolution this was the site of Burrs and Higher Woodhill Mill. Both were dependant on water power to spin cotton.

Tony Trehy: (00:31)
Burrs Country Park, or what is now Burrs Country Park is actually a really important historical location in the North West. As you enter through the park near the entrance there is a line of cottages and they are some of the earliest sites of manufacturing in the country. The site goes back all the way through history and when, even before the Industrial Revolution where people manufactured things as little units in their own cottages that’s what was happening there, and some of the earliest industrial machinery which was obviously invented in and around Bury in the North West. There’s layers of industrial heritage that go back even before the industrial revolution. The sort of factory layout of the site which you can see on a visit is an attempt to preserve a tradition of steam based industry developed in the area.

Presenter: (01:19)
The artist was commissioned in 1996 following a competition.

Tony Trehy: (01:25)
That was commissioned in 1996 when there was one of the waves of regeneration and insite improvement. The piece was commissioned via Gateway sculpture as an entry point so that people would know they’d arrived at the park. It attempts to symbolise the history of the park.

Presenter: (01:41)
David likes to reuse objects in his work, as he says ‘I make think out of things, big things, little things, old things and new things, some things say something about their surroundings and other things become something else.’

Here he has used a steel and stone wheel to evoke the sites industrial past.

Tony Trehy: (02:01)
So it’s got the sort of language of the Industrial revolution and the symbol of the wheel, but over the recent history of the site it has been derelict. So the fishes rising up are turning into the birds as it flows over the sculpture was the artists attempt to suggest that the site has been reborn and nature had returned.

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