THE SOLAR LADY
GOLDEN - Two views of the original artwork that inspired the making of The Solar Lady statue. Copyright © Lime Park Heritage Trust 17 March 2017. You will need the permission of the LPHT to reproduce these photographs except for private study or research.
The Solar Lady is a three meter tall statue mounted on a plinth in the driveway to Herstmonceux Museum. The sculpture is symbolic of life on land, in the air and in water. The Solar Lady is an amalgamation of a female human form with the wings of a bird and the tail of a fish - so encompassing life in all mediums on planet earth. The womanly form is symbolic of nurturing and protecting life as only the female of the species has a womb to grow a baby and breasts to feed infants - and is therefore most appropriate in terms of sustainability, the circular economy and using energy from nature to pursue these aims.
The same general theme is applied to many figureheads affixed to ships for good fortune and steerage. These are frequently busty maidens or just bare breasted mermaids for the same reasoning, with the sometimes exaggerated glands being symbolic of fertility - the larger the more productive. The Ancient Egyptians worshiped the sun and built statues in human form with wings, being typically female, while the Philistine's fish god, Dagon, was male. Other mythical hybrid forms include centaurs and minotaurs as horse bodies with human torso and head and human bodies with a bull head.
Nowhere can we find a statue of a hybrid human, bird and fish that precedes the Solar Lady, making her unique and the first of such themes ever to be created.
The Solar Lady will be carved from timber and composites. The wings will be formed from sheet metal alloy with reinforcing frames of wood and stainless steel. Once carved, a mould will be made from the artwork from which the statue will be produced in carbon fiber to make her strong and light. She needs to be strong because her twin, a nautical Solar Lady will be produced to be mounted on one of the most important boats in this decade for her launch and for this vessels maiden voyage. This is our (Lime Park Heritage Trust) contribution to that amazing project.
The figurehead is likely to be painted gold or vinyl wrapped in gold. The static sculpture is likely to be gilded in 22 or 24 carat gold leaf.
Gold leaf is gold that has been hammered into thin sheets by goldbeating and is often used for gilding. Gold leaf is available in a wide variety of karats and shades. The most commonly used gold is 22-karat yellow gold.
FOUNDATIONS - The site for the Solar Lady is dug out to a depth of around one meter (3 feet) and rammed with hardcore. This was the site of an old brick wall adjacent to what might be an ice house or simply a vented septic tank. In the picture above you can see the clay vent pipe running uphill from the underground domed brick-built chamber on the right.
CONCRETE - Shuttering is placed around the hole to prevent the concrete from spilling out onto the ground, where there is a considerable slope to take into account. Concrete and steel are the bedrocks of our modern city dwelling society. Most buildings use concrete for their foundations and most tall buildings, such as skyscrapers, use steel as the structural support frame.
STAINLESS STEEL - This is the framework onto which the statue will be mounted and that will carry the loads of the Solar Lady down into mother earth. The frame is set into concrete up to the half way point to give the sculpture a really solid base. Thick wall 30mm x 30mm section tubing was used to make the frame. Additional stainless bracing will be added before the sculpture is fitted. Copyright © Lime Park Heritage Trust 17 March 2017. You will need the permission of the LPHT to reproduce these photographs except for private study or research.
FOUNDATIONS - With the concrete set, our master mason will work out the best pattern to lay the bricks to make a hollow pillar. Copyright photographs © Lime Park Heritage Trust 18 March 2017. You will need the permission of the LPHT to reproduce these photographs except for private study or research.
HOLLOW WALL - In these pictures you can see the void that will be filled with more concrete, but not until additional stainless steel cross-bracing is added to make the pillar really strong. Copyright photographs © Lime Park Heritage Trust 18 March 2017. You will need the permission of the LPHT to reproduce these photographs except for private study or research.
NEARLY THERE - The brick pattern is established. The statue will be mounted on a central stainless steel rod that is to be fitted into the frame so that it can be rotated to face the sun (south). Copyright © Lime Park Heritage Trust 18 March 2017. You will need the permission of the LPHT to reproduce these photographs except for private study or research.
STAMCO - Most of our structural building timber and other supplies come from Stamco in Eastbourne and Hastings. We also use Wickes and purchase other buildings products such as, EPDM roofing rubber, online. The brick wall that runs alongside the steps to the coal bunker and other features, has yet to be rebuilt. Copyright © Lime Park Heritage Trust 18 March 2017. You will need the permission of the LPHT to reproduce these photographs except for private study or research.
LINKS & REFERENCE
Wrights of Lymm Ltd
HERITAGE INDEX A - Z
BARCLAYS BANKING LET DOWN - MISSING ACCOUNT MONEY
CAMPBELL HALL - BLUEBIRD ELECTRIC CARS
OBSERVATORY - HERSTMONCEUX CASTLE
SOLAR LADY - STATUE