Hilaire Belloc bought King's Land (in Shipley, Sussex), 5 acres and a working windmill for £1000 in 1907 and it was his home for the rest of his life. Belloc loved Sussex as few other writers have loved her: he lived there for most of his 83 years, he tramped the length and breadth of the county, slept under her hedgerows, drank in her inns, sailed her coast and her rivers and wrote several incomparable books about her. "He does not die that can bequeath Some influence to the land he knows, Or dares, persistent, interwreath Love permanent with the wild hedgerows; He does not die, but still remains Substantiate with his darling plains."

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Monday 16 January 2017

A South Downs Year - a new consideration of Belloc...

A new book has just been published. Jon Edgar’s Sculptor’s Journal records his time as the artist for a project to produce a sculpture to mark the National Trust's largest ever woodland re-planting in Slindon, West Sussex.

The stone was moved to eight different locations to engage with as many people as possible during the sculpting; 1350 people were involved in everything from a small chip to hours of work on the stone. Jon uses an unusual working method which involves ‘a raw exploration of the material’ with no pre-planning - a sort of improvisation in stone; in this case three tonnes of Portland stone.

He spent much time researching local history and unearthing figures such as Charlotte Turner Smith and William Hayley as part of being open to the local landscape informing the final work. The book reflects these researches and the process the stone went through. The artist added:

“Belloc was everywhere in connection with this landscape, who seemed to revisit the area at every opportunity. Printing the Journal seemed essential to revisit the historic material found, including a previously unpublished painting by Bessie Belloc in the Boston archive. It forms another permanent legacy to support the stone itself, rather than that material remaining in my own head.” 

‘A South Downs Year - Creation of the Slindon Stone: The Sculptor’s Journal’; Jon Edgar
Hesworth Press 
limited edition of 300 ISBN 978-0-9558675-2-1 £10
or order direct for £11 posted info@jonedgar.co.uk

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