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Giant Walnut Unveiled In Mattishall

Unveiling of new walnut artwork at Mattishall sm

A Norfolk village has taken possession of its own giant stone walnut – the result of a new public art commission by a local house builder.

Mattishall Parish Council chair Terry Wilkins joined Tony Abel of Abel Homes to unveil the sculpture, the tenth piece of art commissioned by the Watton-based house builder as part of an ongoing public art programme.

Carved by Norfolk stonemason Teucer Wilson, the York stone walnut, set on a plinth which features a carved set of nutcrackers, was unveiled on a public open space at the firm’s Walnut Tree Fields site in the village, alongside a walnut tree which was planted by pupils from Mattishall Primary School last year.

The work is the latest in a series of public artworks commissioned by Abel Homes, which in 2007 committed to creating a public artwork by a local artist at each of the sites where it builds new homes.

The unveiling took place at a party hosted by the house builder for new residents at the site, where it has built 35 energy-efficient family homes.  Last month the development was featured on BBC television as an example of best practice in delivering sustainable new homes.

Tony Abel, chairman of Abel Homes said, “These artworks act as a focal point for the new communities which we create in Norfolk, something which can give the community a sense of identity.  By commissioning these works from Norfolk artists, we are also supporting our own local artistic community, and ensuring that their work will be on public display in perpetuity.”

Teucer Wilson came to Norfolk in 2000 after serving a five year apprenticeship at a leading stone carver in London, and has completed a number of high-profile commissions, including at the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital, the RAF Bircham Newton War Memorial, and the Blaenavon Gateway in south Wales.

In 2007 Abel Homes committed to commissioning a new piece of public artwork for each of the sites on which it builds new homes.  The Mattishall work is the tenth to be commissioned; others have been unveiled, in Watton, Drayton and Old Catton in Norwich, Shipdham, Hingham, Little Melton and Swaffham. 

In June the firm announced it had commissioned the Holkham Forge Partnership to create a six foot dancing hare sculpture for its Hare’s Green site at Watton.