People / Artist in Residence

Severn Beach Sculptures – Explain Yourself

  • Explaining ballroom dancing to the estuary. Photo credit: Michal Iwanowski
  • Explaining ourselves to the estuary using the common element of water. Photo credit: Michal Iwanowski
  • Art vote in Severn Beach Village Hall. Photo credit: Caroline Stealey
  • The winning designs. Photo credit: Caroline Stealey
  • Sculpture in progress. Photo credit: Deborah Aguirre Jones
  • One of the sculptures in situ. Photo credit: Caroline Stealey
  • Sculpture unveiling - local community procession with The Ambling Band. ©photojB

Residents, volunteers and art groups met with Deborah Aguirre Jones, A Forgotten Landscape’s artist in residence to consider an impossible question:

How would you go about explaining yourself or the human world to this landscape?

After hours of conversations, diagrams, cups of tea and experiments, a series of mini-artworks and performances were carried out. (To view them click here.)

From each of these, Deborah drew a single image to be carved in stone, and wrote a description of what happened. Altogether there were 20 drawings, of which three were chosen in a public vote to be made into stone sculptures.

At the Severn Festival in 2017, members of the public voted on which locations they would prefer for the sculptures.

Once the results were in, Deborah, and volunteer Caroline Stealey, made a clay/plasticine maquette (a sculptor’s small preliminary model) for each chosen drawing. Deborah and stonemason Barry went to some limestone quarries in Portland, Dorset, to choose three suitable stones for carving. After initial roughing out, the pieces of stone were carved by Deborah and Caroline, guided by their maquettes.

The three new sculptures were unveiled in June 2018 with a fantastic event attended by residents of Severn Beach, who created colourful flags and fire sculptures for a procession accompanied by the Ambling Band.


Did You Know?

Deborah has produced a beautiful book giving the full story called Explain Yourself. Copies are available to purchase from

Related Projects

© 2021 A Forgotten Landscape: A Heritage Lottery Fund Landscape Partnership Scheme.


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