Flowing tower

Two public artworks by Tom Price in the Gloucester city centre refer to the invisible histories of the site.

Tom Price was recently commissioned to create two permanent public artworks for Kimbrose Square in the Gloucester city centre.

The artworks are part of an initiative to rejuvenate the city centre and utilise public space more effectively.

Price created the centrepiece for the square in the form of a  16 metre high tower and a 30 metres long wall, called the Kyneburgh Tower and Wall.

The artworks are inspired by St Kyneburgh who, according to Medieval legned, was a Saxon princess who ran away from an arranged marriage. She fled to Gloucester, intent on serving God. In Gloucester she was adopted by a baker whose wife then killed her out of jealousy. St Kyneburgh’s body was thrown down a well, which beceame knowsn as  St Kyneburgh’s Fountain, today famous for its supposed healing powers.

Price’s tower is made of steels and appears to move up and down when viewed from a distance. The open-slatted structure of the tower created a watered-silk effect withle the outer shape resembles an undulating body of water as if poured from above. This gesture too, is reminiscent of the fal of Kyneburgh’s body down the well.

The wall, which runs along the city’s Roman wall, extends the theme of fluidity and points to the changing nature of this historical site over the centuries.

Price says: “I intended it [the tower] to be both a spectacle and a place for quiet contemplation. For the wall I focused on fluidity in form as a reminder that the ancient line upon which it sits has not changed, and yet everything above ground is temporal and changing.”

Both the tower and the wall point to the invisible histories of the site that it occupies.