Official visitor website for Leicestershire
Bosworth 1485

Market Bosworth Exhibition

Welcome to our online exhibition of options for the ‘sixth’ installation in the new Bosworth1485 art trail project.

It is envisaged that Market Bosworth with form both the start and end of the trail, serving the important strategic role of a meeting point/market place – a role it has played over many years.

You may have attended the last meeting we held when thoughts and ideas were shared. This exhibition is a result of that. We took away some very useful thoughts and ideas from the March meeting and have worked up those which fit with the overall vision of the Trail, which can work within the challenging historic and other constraints of Market Bosworth and which complement the other innovative 5 pieces. Meeting the criteria for external funding requirements is also critical.

The main themes which were put forward at the meeting related to an installation in the landscape, art connecting with the Memorial Gardens and the importance of performance. In the subsequent assessment we sadly had to discount the idea of embellishing the wall in the Memorial Garden. There are some excellent examples of this type of art elsewhere but in this case, there was a real danger that it would be considered to lack stature and ambition in relation to the other pieces and also possibly not meet funding criteria. Of course, as there was considerable enthusiasm for this idea, other bodies might wish to consider taking it forward.

In addition, having looked more carefully at ideas to adapt/enhance the memorial gateway, this option has also been ruled out. Usurping the traditional and historic significance and role of the gateway as a war memorial by ‘retro-fitting’ a broader connection to tie in with this project felt uncomfortable.

We fully understand that any of the options presented will require much further work with stakeholders, landowners, planning and other statutory bodies and we are therefore not looking for you to choose ‘a winner.’ Whilst for the purposes of illustration, the proposals have been shown in various locations, none of these should be taken as confirmed. Please do not read any wider implications into the illustrations shown, they are artists’ impressions designed to show the artworks sitting in a number of environments, some of which may prove unavailable or unsuitable with further work.

In fact, one of the inputs we are seeking from you is where you feel an installation would be best situated. We are keen to hear your thoughts and views on the merits (or otherwise!) of each of the three proposals and possible locations.


You can visit the exhibition in person between June 26th and July 2nd or look at the options here online – they are all the same. There will also be an opportunity to speak with the artists and members of the Steering Group at the library on the last day of the exhibition, Tuesday 2nd July between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Please take time to look at the exhibition and read the accompanying notes. Then provide your feedback here or fill out a form and hand it in to the Library desk.

Your input is important. We only want to deliver a project that has the widest possible support and is seen as a real asset to the town.

Bosworth1485 Steering Group

Chapter 6: TWO SIDES TO A STORY

MARKET BOSWORTH

  We are presenting 3 possible designs for this artwork with a view to seeking ultimately approval from the community for one to take forward. These designs are the result of several consultations and represent the present stage in a design process begun two years ago, but in particular they are a response to a meeting here in the library in March.

THE IDEA - THE THEME OF THIS CHAPTER

The Wars of the Roses came to an end in 1485. Or did they?

Soon after the Battle of Bosworth the official Tudor version of events was laid down, its melodrama and colourful villains passing into the popular imagination. But almost from the start the grumbling began that lies were being told and the dead, unable to defend themselves, were being maligned.

A desire to unearth the truth has continued right up to our own day, when cannonballs and badges and even the bones of a king have been dug up to settle the matter. Yet all in vain. We still have two opposing accounts, each championed with as much passion as ever. In this sense a conflict that supposedly ended 500 years ago is being kept alive today, only with swords exchanged for pens and with the action moving from battlefield to the stage of public discourse. But this type of conflict, one that spills ink in place of blood, is something to welcome.

So the theme of this artwork is the bringing of the Battle of Bosworth into the present in a form we can embrace and encourage: debate, storytelling and theatre. After all, agreeing to differ is the hallmark of a healthy society.

Bosworth 1485

THE FUNCTION OF THIS ARTWORK IN THE TRAIL

The trail both ends and begins in Market Bosworth. This means an artwork concluding the trail here will also introduce it, depending on whether you are completing the tour or just setting out on it. This artwork will become a gateway both into and out of the trail.


The physical function of being a gateway will reinforce the thematic function of this artwork as a sort of ‘ambassador’ for the other artworks. In bringing their story into the present it will frame them in a contemporary context, and by being a gateway it will set the scene for them at the start.


To succeed both as gateway and ambassador this artwork will need to proclaim itself. It will need to be visible and it will need to have impact.


MARKET BOSWORTH


Market Bosworth stands outside the events of 22nd August 1485 and its archaeology, but so does the theme of this artwork. The stories we tell about the past free events from the places in which they occurred and bring them to a marketplace where they can be traded with alternative accounts. As the market town of the area, Market Bosworth seems the natural location for an artwork dealing with the trading of accounts - all the more so if it is to include a performance space of some kind.

Bosworth 1485

THE LAST MEETING

On March 19th we met here in the library to discuss ideas for the Market Bosworth artwork. Consulting local people in this manner is part of our normal design process, but in this case there were two particular issues we wanted feedback on: a location for the proposed artwork and whether it should double as a performance space.


Lots of differing thoughts were expressed and the meeting ended without a clear consensus, mainly due to the problem of finding a location. However, on the fundamental question of whether Market Bosworth should have an artwork of the kind we are proposing there was general agreement. There was enthusiasm for the theme and also for the idea of a performance space of some kind (though opinion varied as to its size).


There was also general agreement that the Country Park would be the ideal location. At the moment, however, the Country Park does not seem possible. This created a problem for all those present because they struggled to agree a viable alternative. Options for the Parish Field were discussed at some length but it seems there may be difficulties here too, aside from a general feeling it is a little hidden away.


Faced with the location problem threatening to jeopardise the entire project, a few people suggested a flexible performance space that could be moved. The meeting finished with a suggestion to decorate the existing wall of the Parish Field.

OUR RESPONSE

When faced with a problem it’s all too easy to focus on the negative and end up going round in ever decreasing circles. So in mulling over the feedback the March meeting gave us we tried to keep the bigger picture in mind and focus on positive things that had come up.


The clearest thing that came across was unanimous approval for the project. People understood the idea behind the trail and wanted to be part of it. They wanted for Market Bosworth a high-profile artwork that functions as a gateway to the trail and expresses the theme of accommodating vigorous debate, ideally by creating a performance space of some kind. They welcomed the significant addition to their town this would be.


So in looking for a way round the location problem and taking on suggestions raised at the meeting, we felt we must first and foremost not lose sight of this. Each of the 3 sketch designs we are presenting takes a different approach, but all aim to stay true to the theme and function of the artwork as first proposed.

1) THE SPIRALLING LANDFORM

This design addresses the call for a permanent theatre space that came up at the last meeting. It is a development of a design we originally proposed for the Country Park, here scaled down to fit the Parish Field.


The idea of there being two sides to a story is expressed by twin grass paths which begin opposite each other and spiral inwards, each ending up at a stage - or perhaps half a stage. Each stage is a half-circle which seems to belong to the other half, except the halves don’t sit together.


Each path has a retaining stone wall, one red, one white. The path edged in red leads to a stage emblazoned with a red Welsh dragon, the one edged in white to a stage inset with a white boar.


The result is a subtle yet substantial re-landscaping of part of the Parish Field. The design is not an amphitheatre, but rather a landform which rises and falls in equal measure. It can be used as a performance space but also as an informal place to sit, facing either inwards or out. And it can be read as an artwork.


As a performance or event space, it can be designed to accommodate awnings and so on as needed.

Bosworth 1485
Bosworth 1485
Bosworth 1485

2) THE PROPAGANDA CARTS

This design picks up the suggestion made at the last meeting for a mobile performance space. It can be towed away and therefore needs no permanent location.


In contrast to the spiralling landform, the theme of contesting opinion is expressed here not by opposing stages but by opposing audiences, as in the House of Commons. As such, the performance space created is more like the floor of a debating chamber. The whole setting is more geared to classroom-sized groups or smaller.


We developed an earlier design along these lines where opposing tiers of seating were housed within two giant books that seemed to be fighting each other. Here we have exchanged books for the tools that produce them: pens and the printing press, which arrived just at this date. The machinery of warfare has been exchanged for the machinery of propaganda.


Our earlier book design could be dismantled, but this design of medieval carts carrying twin armouries for the production of texts is fully mobile. This fits the theme - stories and texts are not tied down to any particular location. In addition it allows this artwork to become an event in itself when it moves from one location to another.


The size of the performance space created is also flexible as further seating can be added to either side of the carts. Some of this seating could be designed as part of the artwork - individual letters big enough to sit on, for example.

Bosworth 1485

Potential temporary locations

Bosworth 1485
Bosworth 1485

3. THE PROPAGANDA TREE

This design focuses on the need for the artwork to function as a gateway to the trail pure and simple. If an interactive, performance-based artwork is not possible, this option would still be highly visible and have a very small footprint.


Two tall timber beams rise up pressed hard each other. One is inlaid in red with a Welsh dragon motif, the other in white with a boar motif. At the top, each beam sports a printing press with which it hammers its text out against the other. The letters and words are tumbling out of the presses, forcing the two beams apart. But between them these duelling printing presses create the impression of nothing so much as a tree of letters.


If no other location is possible, this design would work in a more limited space.

Bosworth 1485
Bosworth 1485
Bosworth 1485
Bosworth 1485