Parade Gardens unveiling

A sculpture designed and made at City of Bath College has been unveiled today – Monday, June 30th – to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Britain in Bloom.

The 150 cm stainless steel sculpture takes pride of place in Parade Gardens to help make this year’s entry into Britain in Bloom as strong as possible.

The new Xylem sculpture
The new Xylem sculpture

It has been designed by 68-year-old Maureen Hosier who has been taking part-time sculpture courses at the college for around 14 years.

Bath in Bloom asked the college’s art students to design a 50th anniversary sculpture to represent community participation, horticultural achievement and environmental responsibility.

Bath’s Deputy Mayor Lisa Brett unveiled the sculpture entitled ‘Xylem’

Six students submitted their ideas to the Bath in Bloom committee and Mrs Hosier said she was “shocked but extremely proud” that she had the winning design.

The retired art teacher said: “I live quite near Parade Gardens so for inspiration I looked down at the empty space where it will go.

“I kept thinking of growth, I wanted something that was moving or reaching up and the bulb idea hit me.

“I think it also represents the different layers associated with horticulture and looks to the future of Britain in Bloom.”

The sculpture was made by the College’s 3D design technician Stephen Handley and will be placed in the centre of a flower bed on a Bath Stone plinth.

Parade Gardens
Parade Gardens

Mrs Hosier added: “It’s a real collaborative effort. I hope people are drawn to it and it grabs their imagination.”

Xylem - by Maureen Hosier.
Xylem – by Maureen Hosier.

The public were given a sneak preview of the sculpture at the college’s end-of-year Art and Design Show last week.

Barry Cruse, Chairman of the Bath in Bloom committee, said: “It was great to get an early indication of people’s reactions.

“It is quite different and isn’t the type of sculpture you’d expect to see in Parade Gardens as it’s so contemporary.

“But everyone has been so positive and supportive; they’ve said it’s very eye-catching.

“It definitely represents growth, plants and all things green which sums up Bath in Bloom perfectly.”

Mr Cruse said the city was hoping for success in the 50th year of Britain in Bloom and were going all out to win when Royal Horticultural Society judges visit.

He added: “We’re so excited about the unveiling as it’s such a wonderful way to mark the milestone anniversary in such a prominent place.

“It’s definitely a first as no other city is going to have anything like this.”

The sculpture has been sponsored by Bath Building Society.