The mysterious world of the strange – updated
I recently posted about the wheel sculptures that can be seen on the Old Town railway path:
‘There are five wheels, from the Old Town direction towards the railway and Wootton Bassett Road they are Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Conceive. Each wheel has two parts, a small wheel showing the Element, and a large wheel with a short piece of poetry. In addition, there is a sleeper crossing the path between each of the wheel pairs. Each of these lengths of wood has two words written on them’.
Well, I’m pleased to inform you that, thanks to the power of social media, I have now learnt a lot more about them. A follower of this blog has kindly sent me some newsletters about the project which I am able to share on here. Thank you so very, very much for that. I’m really thrilled to see all this – and just think – only 5 days ago I had no idea of their existence….it’s a funny old world is it not?
It was back in 1980 that the disused railway line running along the southern flank of Swindon was saved from development by Swindon bike group who offered to construct a path for walking and cycling. But it wasn’t until the mid-1990s that the bike group got an opportunity to get creative with the path -but the documents can explain it all better than me. They were large documents which I’ve had to break down into segments so you’ll have to ‘piece’ it together I fear. But you get the idea.
The poet, Fiona Sampson, who wrote the words for the wheels said this: ‘The mix of the industrial and the natural and cyclic in Alec’s design made me think hard about the ideas my poems needed to bridge; but it also inspired me to think about words as solid, powerful’.
EARTH: Our wheels relinquish and seize, relinquish and seize – curious tenderness.
I have only seen two of them as the walk I was doing didn’t take in the whole of this path. But of the ones I did see…yep powerful would do it for me. And haunting too.
Oh – incidentally – the newsletter page with the magic roundabout logo on it speaks of a mural on Signal Way. Is that still in existence?
Saturday the 1st of Feb 2014: Fantastic update! Swindon local collection, who are slowly digitising all manner of photos and documents have today added photographs to their Flickr photostream of these sculptures being created and installed. Just wonderful!