Social Distancing in Harlow Sculpture Town

Harlow’s sculpture collection is a result of the Second World War: the last truly global crisis in modern memory. At the outset, it was an imaginative and ambitious attempt to rebuild communities. The sculptures were a way to create public spaces people would enjoy using and sharing with their neighbours. They reflected the optimism of the post-war period and projected a sense of stability that would reassure residents after the turmoil of WW2.

Chiron by Mary Spencer Watson was Harlow Art Trust’s first commission. Her brief was to capture “community idea”.

Since 1953 the Trust has been working to grow and maintain the collection for the people of Harlow and we continue to do so today, when communities up and down the country need access to high quality art on their doorstep, for free. Harlow has this in abundance. Thankfully, it is easy to maintain social distancing and enjoy Harlow’s unique collection at the same time: over 100 artworks are spread evenly throughout.

Sculpture Town UK will make Harlow’s unique urban sculpture park more accessible than it has ever been before. The mobile version of the site can be used to navigate three new trails or find your nearest sculpture in real time. The town boasts abundant green spaces and an extensive network of cycling and walking paths to enjoy. We have tried to keep the trails to these paths and to pedestrianised areas where possible.

Our role in the wake of Covid-19 is much like that of our founding members: to use public art to bring people and communities together in Harlow. We will continue to deliver on our vision of an urban sculpture park developed with and for the community by working with developers, local business, Harlow Council and others to commission new work and create opportunities for people to engage and get involved.

Twofold by Nick Hornby was installed at Harlow Science Park in 2019 and brought the collection to a total of 100 public artworks.