Painted steel, mechanical system, 2021
240 x 130 x 150 cm

As part of Pioneering Places East Kent – the largest of the national Great Place Schemes, supported by Arts Council England and National Lottery Heritage Fund – a series of sculptures entitled ‘Beacons’ were commissioned by local primary school children in Ramsgate.

Four large scale structures, made from galvanised steel and painted to reference the nautical flags used in maritime signalling, respond to the themes identified by the children, play and playfulness, caring and modern machinery. The sequence of structures are modular in design so that they can be placed on any seafront and incorporate a hand-driven mechanical system which turns the disks inviting interaction to animate the sails.

Beacons addresses notions of signalling and messages, with a concealed word hidden within the design, based on a coded alphabet devised by the children. The word HOME was chosen by the children to be the message that the beacons send out to sea. HOME represents what Ramsgate meant to the children and also provided a message of welcome and warmth to anyone arriving in the town by sea or land.

Ramsgate Beacons