Elaine's on the trail of dale's public sculpture
By Nicky Carter - Reporter
A NEW sculpture trail has been created in the dale as a part of a project to catalogue and photograph public works of art in the UK.
Photographer Elaine Vizor, from Spring Gardens, has put together the trail, which at present comprises 11 different works of art from various artists.
She created it while working on a three-year project, funded by Art UK, to draw up a comprehensive list of all the sculptures in the UK within the public domain.
Ms Vizor said: “I’m a member of the Royal Photographic Society and they put a call out for volunteer photographers to take part in the project.
“I have a love of public sculpture and had always had the ambition to try and photograph all sculptures in the North East, so I put my name forward to be part of the project early on.”
After some training from Art UK Ms Vizor got busy tracking down art work in south west Durham, the area she is responsible for.
The Teesdale Sculpture Trail, which has now been published on Art UK’s website, provides information on when each piece was installed, the artist responsible and where it is located.
Ms Vizor added: “They [Art UK] already had a list of artworks, but it was far from complete.
“Part of the project is updating the photographs of those as well as searching out unrecorded works.”
She added: “I started with an initial list but even though the list is quite scant for County Durham, I keep going off on tangents because I find out about more sculptures.
“I was in Aycliffe photographing one piece of art and people told me about three more close by that weren’t on my list. But I will get through my initial list as soon as we are allowed to go back out documenting.”
The Teesdale Trail features many easy to recognise sculptures including the now famous metal feather mounted on a stone plinth, Air, by Victoria Brailsford, and Keith Alexander’s stunning life-sized stone renderings, Pleased to see Ewe, at Low Force, as well as nine works by Eggleston artist Phil Townsend and carved stone markers at Barnard Castle’s mini-golf course.
She said: “The project is about opening people’s eyes to the art. A lot of the art is hidden in plain view, such as Phil’s way markers at Blackton, Folly Top and Egglesburn.
“They are sign posts but they are sculptures as well with the handcrafted ceramic tile work to each side.
“When I was out photographing, I wanted to find out more about one piece of artwork so I spoke to Phil and we started to meet up and catalogue them together.”
Ms Vizor hopes to be out documenting more artwork in the coming months.
She said: “We haven’t been able to be out and about because of insurance reasons, but we’re hoping with the New Year we can get back out and add to the list.”
The Teesdale Sculpture Trail can be found at https://artuk.org/discover/curations/a-teesdale-sculpture-trail.
As well as photographs of each of the current documented works, there is information on the artists and a handy map indicating each of their locations.
She added: “Although it probably is feasible to walk the trail, it’s probably easier to use a car.
“There are several of the artworks that you do have to walk to at Low Force and High Force. I haven’t finished cataloguing the sculptures yet and I will get through my original list, but there are probably lots that I am not aware of.”
Anyone who wishes to highlight a sculpture can contact Ms Vizor by email on email@example.com.