Finding cannonballs, a badge and a king in a car park have all drawn attention to something surprising: that one of the country’s most well-worn yarns is anything but dead history. The details of the battle and moreover the justice of the historical account, are still live topics.
After 500 years the story of Richard III and Henry VII is still being fought over - almost as though the Wars of the Roses continue on, pens replacing swords. But this is lively debate, not bloodshed, and something to be encouraged.
In the 21st century we have no problem getting hold of information. Everything there is to know about the Battle of Bosworth can be found on a smartphone. Except for one thing: the physical experience of moving through the landscape in which it took place.
Embedded artworks offering a physical interpretation of local history, a project designed to draw people away from their screens and out into the natural environment - this seems a form of therapy for our times.
The idea of telling the story of a landscape through an art trail points to an underlying thought: that this is art to help the landscape speak for itself. It is the landscape that shaped and witnessed the events of 1485, and it is in the landscape their traces lie buried. Our ultimate goal is to get the landscape to tell its own story.
The project steering group was founded. Artists were invited to consider the themes that emerged from the impact of the re-interment on local communities. A £15,000 Arts Council England grant was awarded to the project.
Three artists were shortlisted and commissioned to prepare proposals which were exhibited in the respective communities and in the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre during July and August 2017.
On 31st August 2017 Broadbent Studios were selected as the artists of choice after creating designs that responded imaginatively to local people and places.
The steering group worked with Broadbent Studios and local communities to refine and finalise the plans and designs. This stage was funded by a £28,000 grant from Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council.
A dedicated project officer was appointed to drive the project forward. A grant of £500,000 was secured from the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership.
Four of the sculptures were commissioned with the artists Broadbent Studios. This final detailed design stage will see these sculptures bought to life in scale models. The materials, from which the sculptures are to be created, will also be chosen. Those scale models, called Maquettes, will then be used by the creators of each piece to interpret Stephen’s vision.
The Steering group were delighted to showcase the detailed designs at the five sculpture locations. Maquettes (artist’s models) and simple scale structures were used to choose preferred locations at four of the sites whilst the fifth had already been decided. These pieces significantly aided the selection of desired locations and allowed things such as sight lines to be accurately evaluated.
The maquettes will now be available to see at the Market Bosworth Library on the 15th March between 12 and 7pm. Please do come and chat about the trail and see the detailed design for each piece.