Saturday 22nd May 2021 to
Sunday 13th June 2021
Lesnes Abbey Wood and the Abbey itself were key sites in the 1381 Great Rebellion, that started in Essex close by to another of our Estuary 2021 sites, Wat Tyler Country Park. A key mustering point for rebels gathering from Kent, these two ancient landscapes of the estuary played central roles in this first known, organised mass protest in the UK.
On an initial research and site visit to the woods, artist Jonathan Wright was struck by a particularly beautiful tree stump, a very tall remaining trunk of an Oak. Its central location in a clearing where numerous pathways converge made it a perfect spot for an artwork to act as a conceptual way marker - pointing to events from the past, present, and future that related to this historic site. It will rotate like a weather vane to connect people with the river, history, people, and ideas.
During the summer of 2020, Jonathan led socially-distanced conversations on site at the woods with nearby communities and visitors to the site to find out who, what and why people would like to have represented as part of the work.
The finished sculpture will feature 3 dimensional objects and/or people who have played a key part in the history of Lesnes Abbey Woods, or who are important to shaping the future. e.g. Abel Kerr and the Great Rebellion of 1381, a fossil or one of the volunteers, key to the successful running of Lesnes.
The work has been commissioned thorugh a partnership of Estuary 2021, Metal and London Borough of Bexley and funded through the kind support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund.