Lewes set to host giant sculpture by Jon Edgar

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A giant sculpture with local connections could be coming to Lewes this summer with a view to a long-term display.

An exhibition location in Southover Grange Gardens is

currently being investigated for the two-ton work of art.

The piece, entitled Lewes Group, stands some 5ft high and is the work of eminent sculptor Jon Edgar. It depicts a series of enigmatic figures.

He approached local Independent Councillor Ruth O’Keeffe with a view to lending the work to the county town. She raised the matter at last week’s full meeting of Lewes District Council, where the offer received a positive response.

Two possible sites at Southover Grange have been identified and the logistics of putting the sculpture there – not least getting it over the wall and possibly across the Winterbourne – are being studied.

Cllr O’Keeffe said: “I understand that Jon is interested in researching other sculpture already in Lewes with a view to people finding out more about what we already have, as well as being able to see ‘Lewes Group’, which could be of interest both to local people and visitors.”

Mr Edgar, who is based in Fittleworth, West Sussex, located the limestone block in the village of Laughton. It is understood it originated in Turkey.

He said: “Many of my sculptures have links in their names as to their past and Lewes Group refers to both the figurative form of the block and my memories of trips to consider this particular stone in Laughton.”

The sculptor continued: “Someone with links to Lewes saw the sculpture a year ago and remarked on how evocative the forms were of the chalk landscape – which was a ‘layer’ I hadn’t considered.

“An unexpected chance to show the work to some critical Lewesians led to generous support and backing for the idea of showing it in the town.

“As a result of its recent return from the Russell Cotes Museum in Bournemouth, I thought it would be a good thing to offer it on loan for a period.

“It is affirming for an artist for his or her work to be seen; it is uplifting when communities wish to interact with original rather than purely decorative art.”

He added: “Lewes has a long and rich history with original sculptors and sculpture and the enclave of Grange Gardens seemed to be the ideal place to show such a work for both the local community and visitors to interact with. I am quietly hopeful that it might come.”