The first of the eagerly anticipated Canal Etchings sculptures was unveiled on Saturday 8 September at the Llanymynech Wharf Visitor Centre by Mavis Nicholson. The Canal Etchings Sculpture Trail has been commissioned by Ellesmere Sculpture Initiative and have been created by sculptor Jason Hicklin. Five unique sculpture waymarkers are situated alongside the canal at Llanymynech, Lower Frankton, Ellesmere Wharf, the mere at Ellesmere and shortly at Gledrid the Gateway to the World Heritage Site.
Mavis Nicholson officially unveiled the sculpture located at Llanymynech. Mavis, the journalist and presenter, has been a familiar face and voice on TV and radio since the early 1970s. At the opening there was an opportunity to meet Jason Hicklin and join a guided walk.Jason Hicklin, the internationally renowned etcher who works from his studio in Shropshire and exhibits with The Beardsmore Gallery in London, has used etching to create five sculptural pieces in response to the landscapes in which they have been set. Jason’s pieces also reflect the images and words of the industrial past of these locations. Creating the sculptures in zinc has been a challenging technical process which has allowed Jason’s etchings to be taken out of the gallery and into the landscape where they create a dramatic effect.
“This commission has taken the work of the Ellesmere Sculpture Initiative in a new direction and there are possibilities that further Canal Etchings can be created to extend the trail. Working with Jason has been a great process and both sides have learnt much from this process. The Canal Etchings are very much Jason’s response to the landscape and inspiration came from walking the canals and hearing about the history of these sites” said Trudi Graham, Ellesmere Sculpture Initiative.