'To the River' Public Art Consultation

  • Posted on: 24 February 2022
  • By: monica

The proposed work is a three-dimensional sculpture formed in gold coloured metal, positioned along the riverbank at Sheep’s Green. 

The proposed sculpture will 'flow in and out and over the riverbank, glinting a gold metallic colour and etched with the design of Cambridge Lace' and  'will incorporate specially selected biodiverse plants growing within and around the structure.' 

Our response:

Re: To the River Art Proposal

We write in response to the consultation on the 'To the river' public art proposal, funded through use of Section106 Developer contributions.

This is supposed to be a public work of art based on interaction with local people and groups, with claims that, 'The project seeks to acknowledge and mark the place of the River Cam within society and the landscape. To engage with local communities to research stories, facts and aspects of the river to reveal its position in the city.’ Yet there has been no communication or involvement with any of the City Residents' Associations or Friends groups, including Friends of the River Cam.

This proposal seems to show a complete lack of understanding of both the natural environment and what it is that people value about the river and this very special landscape. Sheeps Green is a city nature reserve, where cattle still graze in the summer and it is loved as part of the green river corridor that stretches from Grantchester into the heart of the city.

In our Declaration of the Rights of the River Cam on the 21st June 2021 we said that, 'In sharing rights with rivers we show our determination to end the human exploitation of nature and, instead, to live in harmony with it’

The river speaks for itself and does not need gold bling for people to appreciate its beauty.

'We call on all people to engage with the river in a relationship of respect and stewardship and to cease its exploitation’ is the ending of our Declaration, and we hope that the City Council will understand the grounds of our objection and refuse consent for this insensitive and inappropriate intrusion into the river landscape.

Kind regards,

Steering Group of Friends of the Cam

Comments should be sent to publicart@cambridge.gov.uk

The final date for submitting comments is Sunday 6 March 2022.