foldgallery

skateable sculpture

skatepark logo

Logo a go-go

In the summer of 2007, artists Helen Fletcher and Steve Messam ran a series of workshops with Year 9 pupils at Kirkby Stephen Grammar School and Sports Academy to design a logo for the Skatepark project. The winning logo (left) was voted by pupils at the school, the local community through the library and online visitors to this website. the logo is now used on all paperwork for the project and will be incorporated ito the designs for the gates of the final park.

3d view of sculpture

What is the rural solution to concrete skateparks?

Over the last 18 months, The Kirkby Stephen Extreme Sports Association has been working with Fold to create a blueprint for rural ‘urban’ sports provision. The Skateable Sculpture project is an exciting initiative that aims to build a large-scale, earthwork sculpture inspired by local geological features, Faraday’s laws and natural mathematics that also offers potential for not just skateboarding and BMX but also Parkour, performance, rock climbing and admiring the view. The Skateable Sculpture project is a fusion between art and sport. One that takes a holistic approach to the provision of urban-rooted disciplines in a rural environment.

Sketch of sculpture

Inspiration:

The skateable sculpture draws together shapes and ideas from a number of local sources: The shapes found in the local waterfalls at Stenkrith, the patterns formed by electrons in an electro-magnetic field and alignments with the Nine Standards Rigg above the town. These are all brought together with natural mathematics and strong aesthetics.

stenkrith falls

Stenkrith:

Known locally as the Devil's Peppermill, these falls in the river Eden have unique bowls hollowed out of the rock as a result of being on the geological boundary of sandstone and limestone. This has lead to a local conglomerate known as Bockram.

faraday's laws

Faraday's Law :

Michael Faraday has local connections: his parents worked as local blacksmiths. Among his contributions to science was the discovery of electro-magnetic fields.

Nine Standards Rigg, above Kirkby Stephen

Nine Standards:

the nine cairns on the top of the pennines overlooking the town are of unknown origin. Being over 30ft (10m) tall in places, these are easily seen from the town 6 miles away.

lorenz attractor

natural mathematics:

The water-worn bowls and caves at Stenkrith are created by motion governed and explained by chaos theory. The path a pebble makes in a hollow in fast flowing water is the same as the graph of a Lorenz Attractor.

The motion that carries skaters and free-runners through their jumps is likewise governed by chaos theory: the smallest movement of the feet at any given time has a huge impact on the final path the board makes. That’s why no two jumps are likely to be exactly the same.

It is logical then to realise that the shapes at Stenkrith and those explored by Charles Jencks in his huge ‘Landform’ sculptures, besides being one and the same thing, are the ideal forms for gravity sports. You can see it in practice when you pull the plug out of a sink of water – the water swirls around (clockwise in the northern hemisphere due to the earths rotation) and little swirly waves rise and fall. This is like the natural momentum gained by a skateboarder in a giant bowl.

 

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