The central feature of Kings Heath Village Square is a Labyrinth. An artist was commissioned to create Works of Art to be integrated into the Labyrinth, Threshold and Swirl features to ensure continuity of theme, materials and colours to all these areas, providing consistency of narrative and visual impact. The Art Works are integrated into these constructions, suitably positioned to convey the narrative of the words and designs. This welcomes people into the square [Threshold], entices and encourages them to move further into the square [Swirl], and provides punctuation of the journey [Labyrinth]; it also serves to assist the focus of the participant with tools for further meditation. The art work for both areas takes the form of:
- Pictorial, representational and abstract designs, constructed from mosaics, relief, engraved and inlay materials and techniques.
- Text, relating to commissioned poetry, religious verses, and comments from the Artist’s research with partners and user groups from the wider community, incorporated into the pavers.
The materials used in both features include aggregate, stone paving and engineering bricks. The materials and colour palette used by the Artist are subtle and link in aesthetically with these architectural considerations, and with the surrounding buildings. The Landscape Designer, Simon Watkins, worked with the Youth Project to tease out ideas from the labyrinth and the pattern of the pathways. The Community Artist, Alison Ogle, facilitated and directed the creation of artworks from various selected local stakeholder groups which celebrate, reflect and communicate the ethos of the All Saints mission. A separate leaflet conveys the essence and details of these workshops, which involved members of the wider local community in the construction of the public space of the Village Square. This engenders a sense of pride in the locality and demonstrates the uniqueness of the project on a regional and national scale.