Ilkeston based sculptor Rachel Carter, who is a regular fixture at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show has unveiled a sculpture for a brand new residential area on the outskirts of Derby.
In May 2012 Rachel was approached by a house building consortium to create a piece of public art for the new housing development in Mickleover. Working closely with students from Murray Park Comprehensive she came up with a concept that not only reflected her style but also incorporated the ideas and visions of local youngsters.
During Rachel's research and development for the project she also discovered that a sculpture once stood on the site, she traced the sculpture's whereabouts back to Derby University where it now stands and discovered that it was created by a local artist called Ronald Pope.
Inspiration for her public sculpture was drawn from the history of the site, which sits just off Western Road, and the surrounding countryside, the local community and the University of Derby campus that once stood where the housing development now stands.
The sculpture, which has been named; Following in the Footsteps, symbolises growth and is represented in the form of a seed pod and seeds created from panels of laser cut Corten Steel. The installation is made up of five different parts which all run down the development's central boulevard and appear at different intervals.
Next to each sculpture is an interactive panel which gives information about the various stages of Rachel's development, icons can be scanned on a smart phone giving the viewer an opportunity to read more into the various stages.
Rachel officially unveiled the sculpture on Thursday, 28th March and was joined by representatives from Derby City Council and Persimmon Housing, University of Derby, plus students and teachers from Murray Park Comprehensive.
Speaking about the Mickleover sculpture Rachel said: "Working on this sculpture has taken me on an interesting journey delving into the history of Mickleover and beyond. I worked closely with the area's history society and various other parties including Derby City Council and the University of Derby and each individual or organisation has played a part in the development of these sculptures.
"I really enjoyed my work with Murray Park's students, we worked on a number of workshops and projects and their enthusiasm and creativity has been brilliant. I hope that my work helps to inspire these students to build on their artistic skills and inspire the next generation of artists," Rachel added.
Rachel has also written a book charting her progress from starting the project and rediscovering the site's missing sculpture to how her sculpture was created which is available to buy online from Blurb.com.