A rededication ceremony to mark the gifting of artist Paul Mason’s Leaf Fields to St Albans has been held following the relocation of the large-scale limestone sculpture.
Previously positioned outside the former Museum of St Albans in Hatfield Road, the sculpture now sits in the civic centre plaza near the Alban Arena.
The former museum site is about to be redeveloped as housing to help fund the new museum and art gallery being created at the old Town Hall. Due to the planned construction work at the Hatfield Road site, the Leaf Fields sculpture needed to be relocated.
The sculpture now lies on a busy pedestrian route from St Peter’s Street to the Alban Arena where it will be seen by large numbers of passers-by. This new more prominent position at the civic centre plaza was chosen for Leaf Fields, following a review of options and consideration of the sculpture’s heritage.
Award-winning British artist Paul Mason was originally commissioned in 1985 by the Hertfordshire Association of Architects to create the sculpture for the area outside the Alban Arena. The association wanted to make a gift to the city to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Royal Institute of British Architects. Leaf Fields was later moved to a site outside the former museum.
The rededication ceremony on Tuesday May 9 was arranged to commemorate the eleventh anniversary of the artist’s death.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Mayor of the City and District of St Albans, Cllr Frances Leonard, said: “I want to thank the Hertfordshire Association of Architects for this generous gift of the Leaf Fields sculpture to St Albans. Given the significance of this distinctive sculpture, it is fitting that the artwork now rests in a more central location right in the heart of our City.”
A new sign for the sculpture will be erected once the new museum and gallery is opened. Work to transform the old Town Hall into a new museum and art gallery is now well underway, with an official launch scheduled for next year.
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