Estate residents make their mark with community sculpture

Residents of an estate have helped create a new landmark sculpture in Bermondsey.

Artist and stone mason Austin Emery helped supervise the piece in Tanner Street Park, with more than 100 stone carvings created by project participants during open and free stone carving workshops held on the nearby Whites Grounds Estate.

Mr Emery devised the sculpture, called Cornerstone, as a way for the residents to leave their mark on their neighbourhood.

The sculpture

He said: “I love the idea of people who would not otherwise normally do this coming together and getting the chance to pick up a chisel and mallet to carve something of themselves into the stone, and for their carving to become a permanent part of the fabric and landscape of London, which will outlive all of us.

“This feeling of connection to the material of our place is something that stonemasons and carvers have always enjoyed. By fixing carved stones worked by Cornerstone participants alongside reclaimed fragments of architectural heritage from Southwark Cathedral and Westminster Abbey, carved by stone masons now passed, we make this connection of people across time and social barriers, creating a ‘living heritage’ which is as much about social belonging as it is about the actual object of physical creation.”

A successful Spacehive #CrowdfundLDN campaign helped meet the cost of construction and installation of Cornerstone.

Pictured top: Residents working on the sculpture

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