Archer's Affray

Local artists commissioned to reflect the importance of the 1403 Battle of Shrewsbury and ethos of recycling


Archer's Affray

In 2016, to commemorate the past and present of the Shrewsbury Battlefield site, Veolia commissioned local artists to submit concepts for a piece of public art. Our aim was to reflect the importance of the 1403 Battle of Shrewsbury, as well as reflect the ethos of recycling.

Following a rigorous application process, Jessica Jackson’s kinetic sculpture was chosen. Jessica was inspired by the idea of linking the 1403 Battlefield site to its future using a symbol that represents both – the arrow. Her ambition was to demonstrate the potential for waste materials to be used in such a way that their legacy could last for several lifetimes. Together with artist-engineer Simon Meiklejohn, Jessica created a magnificent kinetic sculpture based on a never-ending circle of arrows. The arrows in the sculpture represents both the 1403 Battle of Shrewsbury, the first time opposing armies first faced each other with longbow, as well as representing the internationally recognised symbol for recycling.

The piece incorporates a modern wind sculpture which is also made from recycled metal. The majority of the recycled metal came from a decommissioned Victorian gas holder in Surrey that was originally built by a Shropshire company.
During the design stage of the piece of artwork, Jessica worked with pupils from Harlescott Primary School, who helped with the design of the arrows.

Once the design was near completion, Veolia held a competition to name the Battlefield sculpture. Entrants were asked to consider the site’s history and heritage, as well as the management of waste in the environment. We received lots of entries, but it was the suggestion received from 24-year old student Nelson Priest from Ludlow, whose chosen name captured the spirit of the project. Nelson explained the reason behind his title:

“The arrows represent the battle and our on-going fight to protect the earth and our environment. The sculpture is a great symbol for Shropshire and shows that as a county we are passionate about our history and also the environment we live in.”

Below are images that show "Archer's Affray" from the initial drawings to the finished art work.

Images that show the  Public Art from initial drawings to finished piece - Archer's Affray