Alison Wilding’s memorial to terrorism victims

A new DCMS-sponsored memorial to British victims of overseas terrorism has been created in the National Memorial Arboretum, in Staffordshire.

Made by the sculptor Alison Wilding, Still Water incorporates three elements, water, land and air, in a dark concrete ellipse hand-trowelled to give the effect of ripples on a pond. Brass meridian lines crisscross the surface, and seven pale concrete lozenges rise out of it, referencing a mountainous terrain.

“Like most people I have no personal or direct connection to any act of terrorism either here or abroad, but I felt that a sensitive memorial should be a ‘place’ and not an object spewing out information” Wilding said. “I therefore approached it as a sculpture that would hopefully sidestep politics.”

She worked with long-time collaborator Adam Kershaw to make a place in a tranquil woodland glade where visitors can sit and reflect on ideas of water, land and air.

The commission has been managed by the Contemporary Art Society Consultancy. “Alison Wilding is one of the UK’s most esteemed contemporary sculptors and it has been extraordinary to be involved in Alison and Adam’s process of translating these monumental moments of grief into a place where peace can be found” said its head, Fabienne Nicholas. “The memorial vividly demonstrates the power of art to express the human condition in ways that have profound meaning to all-comers”.

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