New Ashgate Gallery Trust and the sculptor David Mayne are inviting Farnham families, schools and nurseries to take part in the Sculptural Imagination: Draw a Sculpture competition.

All drawings will be assessed by David Mayne, who recently won the new Farnham Sculpture public art commission, and the winners’ entries cast in steel.

David will feature some of the drawings in his Farnham Sculpture columns – so taking part may mean one can see their artwork forever as part of The Farnham Sculpture outside the New Ashgate Gallery in Waggon Yard (pictured below).

The competition is open to all children up to 14 years of age, living or attending a school or a nursery in the Farnham postcode area. There will be one winner in each category:

Category 1: Children up to eight years old.

Category 2: Children from nine to 14 years old.

The winning drawings and ten runner-ups will then be displayed in the New Ashgate Gallery in October, simultaneously to the installation of The Farnham Sculpture in Waggon Yard.

Drawings must depict a sculpture and to explore one or some of the topics below:

Farnham heroes

Oak leaf / tree / acorn

Craft tools and/or techniques

Any significant dates that are important to Farnham.

Entrants are asked to draw their artwork on a sheet of A4 paper and email a scan of it to David Mayne by August 1 to [email protected] or post it in a hard envelope to: David Mayne, Sculpture Lounge, Woodhead Road, Holmfirth, HD9 2PX.

Include the name of the artist, postcode (home/school/nursery), contact details (telephone number and email), age of the artist, and a title of the drawing, if any.

The winners will be announced on August 17 at – after which drawings can be collected from the New Ashgate Gallery in the first week of November. Any uncollected drawings will be disposed after November.

It comes after proposals were invited in 2019 for a public sculpture/artwork inspired by the heritage and tradition of crafts in Farnham practised in the area during the Roman period.

The district was known as a pottery centre because of its supply of gault clay, oak woodland for fuel and good communication links. Kilns dating as far as AD100 have been found.

Today, Farnham hosts a remarkable number of major craft institutions and makers – as was recognised last week when the World Craft Council awarded the town World Craft City status.

The sculpture aims to enhance the public knowledge and understanding of this heritage while also bringing pleasure to the community and visitors.

In January 2020, the public voted on three shortlisted proposals. David Mayne was awarded the craft town public art commission after receiving 58 per cent of the public vote.

His Farnham Sculpture (pictured above) celebrates the oak tree – something which was abundant in the area while links to the history and heritage of Farnham.

The Farnham Sculpture is part of the Craft Town project, supported by the Arts Council England. Sculptural Imagination is a community crafts project by the New Ashgate Gallery, supported by the Farnham South Street Trust.