Camberley’s Streets of Gold - Camberley High Street, Knoll Walk and Princess Way new public art scheme

Date: 

Monday, 10 May, 2021

Unique public art brings elements of Camberley’s heritage and history to life in a series of bronze plaques embedded into the granite paving and planters across the High Street, Knoll Walk and Princess Way.  

Councillor Alan McClafferty, Leader, Surrey Heath Borough Council said:  

“This art display, especially commissioned for Camberley, celebrates the many people who live, work and visit the town.  This installation also marks the final stages of the large scale improvement works in the High Street and surrounding areas, creating more attractive, modern and accessible spaces.  

“Camberley is welcoming everyone back with a wide range of shops, restaurants, cafes, pubs and easy to access parking.  Measures have been put in place to keep everyone safe and the town is very much open for business and great times with friends and family.”

M+R, Musson Retallick, are the artist collaboration who have created the new art display.  Neil Musson and Jono Retallick are award winning artists who produce large scale artwork which explores communication, memory and the relationship between people and place.  Their projects have been reviewed as ‘ground-breaking’ by the Arts Council and received high profile critical acclaim including an international Civic Trust Award.  M+R share a desire to see artistic stories woven into architecture and public spaces to enhance a sense of community and belonging.

The display they have created for Camberley consists of 160 bronze and iron discs which have been individually cast with different statements inscribed.  

The artists gathered these statements by interviewing people in the town centre and recording their memories and opinions of Camberley over the years. Fragments of these statements became disassembled poetry ready to be reassembled in any order by viewers of the artwork. 

Musson Retallick said; “The surfaces are cast in bronze and iron and, in both cases, react to both light and peoples touch. The artwork be polished over time with different levels of shine according to different levels of interaction. Community engagement was key in establishing personal; stories which have become fragmented in the artwork ready to be rebuilt by viewers; By creating incomplete elements of poetic text we are asking questions to those viewing the work. The meaning or context is not necessarily clear but conveys a positivity which stimulates people to gather and talk.”

The casting process from making initial oil clay patterns to pouring bronze can be viewed here https://youtu.be/N_NfvNGHu0U

Camberley Be Inspired

Surrey Heath Borough Council is committed to supporting and regenerating Camberley. SHBC’s investments have already seen the acquisition of The Square shopping centre, commencing its refurbishment programme within the first year of ownership. Followed by an ambitious set of projects to improve the roads, pavements and street scene.  A redundant office building has also been purchased to create 116 high quality town centre apartments, with proposals to re-deliver new commercial space.

Large multi-use development site.  Situated fronting the London Road, opposite the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, the 5.5-acre site has the potential to create a substantial development and improve the gateway to Camberley.

SHBC has signed a 25-year contract with Places Leisure to design, build and operate a new £22 million leisure centre. The new centre will feature new swimming pools, sport courts, fitness facilities and a café. The new centre is now in the final stages of construction and is due to open in July 2021.

The regeneration work is supported by a comprehensive events programme, grant schemes for independent businesses and cultural and enrichment projects to ensure Camberley is a key destination and experience. In Camberley we are committed to reshaping and enhancing the town centre to support our community and local businesses.