erratics Garden Gallery Arundel garden gallerySculpt Gallery


Commissioned by American Express as a gift for Tony Bloom and Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club. The project was undertaken in August 2011 and finished in August 2012.

After initial meetings thumbnail sketches were drawn up and once agreed in principal were finalised. Formal measurements were sent to the aptly named 'Albion Quarry' in October and the stone was quarried and cut and delivered in January 2012.

The stone was lifted into place and masoned into it's curved form which was based on drawings I made of the angles and tensions of the Stadiums architecture.

A formal full size drawing was made and was over a 6 hour period traced onto the stone. The seagulls were then tried out on a maquette of Portland stone and the shapes of the shadow forms resolved.

Carving begun in earnest in February and designs were made for the second side based on a soundwave form. The concept for the piece was based on a poem by Ted Hughes called 'Gull's Aloft' and one of his lines 'Wingwaltzing their shadows over the green hollows' reminded me of football games that I had seen as a child where the lights came on in late afternoon and cast shadows from the players that scissored across the pitch.

There are 11 seagulls representing a 'team' and these are 'shadowed' by secondary wings representative of the second team playing. The lettering was tensioned and strident in order to pick up the wing forms and emphasise Ted Hughes powerful words. The soundwave represents the 'roar' of the crowd and the seagulls are lifted in along the same lines the waveform follows.

Once both sides were carved and the lettering completed the form was lifted using a steel gantry and a burnt ash vaulted base made for it to be displayed on. The final installation took place in August 2012. Installation took five hours and a team of four people to achieve and weighs half a ton!

© Jo Sweeting 2015