ARTWORK: Constant Bearing ARTISTS: Denman+Gould
Right at the heart of Weymouth in Bond Street Square, midway between the beach and the Backwater, Constant Bearing takes its cue from Weymouth’s maritime connections. A polished Portland stone pavement is etched with intersecting lines taken from navigational charts, and supports cast concrete seats in soft blue and green colours taken from bathymetric maps of the ocean floor. Look closely at the Portland whitbed stone and you can see fossilised shells from a prehistoric seabed.
Denman+Gould is a collaboration between artist Eleanor Goulding and sculptor-cabinetmaker Russell Denman, who share a studio in a converted church on the Sherborne Castle estate in north Dorset. Their work ranges from furniture to film, taking in textiles, sculpture and even jewellery, and they’re particularly interested in what they call ‘the connecting threads that knit people and places together’.
Location New Bond Street, DT4 8LY
Constant Bearing stands next to the White Hart, which is among the oldest pubs in Weymouth, and was probably (before it was a pub) the birthplace of Sir James Thornhill, the most successful British artist of the early 18th century. His best-known work is the interior of the dome in St Paul’s Cathedral in London, but one of his best paintings can be seen for free, just round the corner, in St Mary’s Church on St Mary Street.
Bond Street follows the line of a defensive earthwork that protected the medieval town of Melcombe from the north. Gaps in the bank on the line of St Mary and St Thomas Street divided it into three sections, which were known as the Coneybery Hills. Presumably the hills were named after the rabbits that burrowed in the sandy fields north of the town – ‘coney’ is an old name for rabbit. The earthworks were flattened in the 1660s, and Bond Street built where they stood, though it sounds like the rabbits were still around, as it was originally called Coneygar Lane.
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