This month sees the start of the Lewes District’s annual visual arts festival, so we thought we’d take a special look at the artworks dotted around the park. Come to Peacehaven and follow our Art Trail and find out more about the Big Park.
If you need a break from the exhaustion of having serious fun at the park, why not take a closer look at the artworks that make the park really unique. When visiting the park take a look at the steel roundels on the fenceline of the ‘Hub’ building. These were specially made by ARC Creative Design for the park and incorporate natural and historical aspects of Peacehaven. ARC creative is a design and build company that specialises in telling the story of unique sites. They were given five categories to work with that encompassed the history of the land and the current use of the site as a leisure facility. All of the pieces were hand cut and welded using pieces of steel.
Take a closer look at each roundel and see if you can find out a little more about the history of the Big Park and the surrounding area.
Nature: Try and find the roundel that represents the natural setting of the park. An important characteristic of the big park is the South Downs National Park. It provides a stunning backdrop and is home to a wide variety of animal, plant and bird species. See if you can identify all of the living creatures depicted on this steel disc.
Archaeology: Did you know that the site of the Big Park is of great archaeological significance? Before any work could begin on site, a large excavation took place and lots of artefacts and archaeological history was found. Find the roundel bearing pictures of your ancestors, their weapons and their homes. Do you know when they lived and what they were called? Visit the Gateway Cafe and take a look at the interpretation display to find out more.
When you play in the park you will also notice some giant gateways leading into the toddlers’ playground. The totems are made of oak and were hand carved and sculpted by local artist Keith Pettit. The patterns carved into the wood were inspired by rock art made by these ancient peoples; the crops they grew are etched into circles of glass.
Local History: Can you find Charles Neville? He was the founder of Peacehaven as it exists today and sold plots of land to people who wanted to escape city life for some fresh, sea air. Can you find the date he founded Peacehaven on this roundel? Do you know who the lady is? Well, she’s Gracie Fields a famous singer from WW2 who entertained the troops with songs and jokes. She is part of Peacehaven’s history because she opened an orphanage in the town in 1933.
Time: Ever wondered why so many of the places in Peacehaven have the word Meridian in their name? Find the roundel with that looks like a clock. Did you know that this site coincides with the point where the Greenwich meridian line leaves our native shores? The meridian line is an imaginary line which runs from the North Pole to the South Pole. It is Known as Zero Longitude and it is the line from which all other lines of longitude are measured. This is also how our Zero Degrees skate park got its name. If you pop over to the skate park you will also see a skateable sundial.
For more visual art exhibitions and trails visit the official Artwave site, there’s lots to see in neighbouring Newhaven too