People, Places, Portraits

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The Storeys


I’m treasurer for Oakley Vale Community Centre. Made in Corby did a call out inviting community groups to take part in creating a new arts feature. What we were asked to do was to bring together an arts panel, which I quickly managed to do.

First we had to decide what type of art we would like to do. I suggested it would be great if our community could have outdoor sculptures, given our location: it’s almost rural Corby – very peaceful, lots of green spaces, lakes, wildlife. Also, I’ve visited many places around the world, and one particular is Barcelona, where I’ve seen Gaudi’s sculptures and mosaics. So that was the idea initially, and the group said that would be really awesome. So we put it forward, and Made in Corby agreed. 

Since we’ve got lots of natural open spaces and very long entwined public pathways we had the idea of making a trail – so coming up with three pieces of sculpture, one large and two smaller, spread out along the path, to encourage people to walk and take a look at them.

We decided to have our sculptures fabricated out of steel. Since this is a steel town, we wanted to use Corby steel, which we managed to get hold of, and the majority of the workings were done in this town.

They’ve only been up for a few days, and already I’m seeing people walk towards them and look, and some of them have got eyes of wonder on them, I can see that from a distance. 

The impact has been quite significant. You get the absolute pleasure of being part of the creation and design of these pieces of art which are going to last a long, long time. Many people will see them. You think, I did that, every time you look at them, and invite other people to take a look. We’ve managed to really take advantage of something that’s a once in a lifetime experience. I mean where can you actually get the opportunity to create permanent sculptures? It’s not going to happen every day.

Words based on interview with Chris Storey

Photo: Stephen King