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An Apple for the Council

A unique piece of art work is now nearing completion at Denbighshire's County Hall. A huge steel, bronze and glass apple, designed by sculptor Michael Jackson, is the centrepiece of a courtyard forming part of the main entrance to the building from the car park. The apple shape is formed by three steel lines, with three bronze castings along their length. It is open, enabling viewers to walk through it. A central core of twisted steel wires, in which glass “pips”, designed by glass artist Chris Bird-Jones, are embedded, is stopped by a stalk and a leaf. To give some idea of the scale, the leaf is level with the central floor of the building. A key to the bronze castings can currently be seen in the stairwell leading to reception. Michael Johnson told us, “The sculpture considers the “core” of the county: it is the council with their vision and ideas; or the people who live here, or it is the land itself, the
coast, the valleys and the mountains. The viewer can make up his or her own mind”. The courtyard was designed by a project team headed by Michael and Chris. It features a floor- scape that has been partly funded by Cadwyn Clwyd. The brick walkway is laid out in the geographical shape of Denbighshire and is bordered by stone from local quarries, interspersed with glass tiles. Jigsaw- backed seats complete the scene. A time capsule, to which Denbighshire secondary schools are contributing CDs, will be placed in the stairwell inside the building; it will be clearly visible from the courtyard. The capsule will be set in float glass, designed by Chris Bird-Jones, working with Pilkington's Glass (St Asaph). Actually, all this is not, and will not be, “hidden from our eyes”. Access to the courtyard during office hours, is either from the car park, or through the Market Street entrance, from which a lift or stairs can be used. An official opening of the Courtyard is planned for when the work is complete.
In December 2005, RUTH BACON revealed what is hidden from our eyes at County Hall