Two artists are creating new works to celebrate Penistone’s past and present as part of Barnsley Council’s Principal Towns project.
Principal Towns is a £5 million investment project set up to improve local economies around the borough and help our high streets thrive. The works will add to the public realm in Penistone further enhancing its attractiveness to local shoppers and visitors.
Michael Disley is producing a series of stone carvings of sheep, each in a pose which references something Penistone is known for. His carvings include a sheep eating popcorn in a nod to the Paramount Cinema, and another riding a bicycle in honour of Penistone’s contributions to the Tour de Yorkshire and Tour de France over the last few years.
Michael will use natural granite to carve the sheep which will stand up to 1.2m tall. They will be humorous, tactile and beautifully crafted, providing a focal point for visitors and residents alike.
Michael said: “I hope the sheep will be well-loved and I’m sure that The #Penistone Sheep Trail will become a great way to discover all that Penistone has to offer as a thriving market town.”
Barnsley-based artist Patrick Murphy’s Penistone Hallmarks will be a series of three-dimensional public artworks based on the creation of a set of hallmarks reflecting Penistone's rich heritage. The sculptures will visually celebrate the town's links to agriculture and its historic market and trade.
Elements of the project will also form a visual heritage trail helping to link areas of Penistone and linking into the existing signposting in the town.
Patrick said: “It's great working on this project, Penistone is such a great town with a story to tell surrounded by lovely countryside.
“The sculptures I'm producing will help to tell this story and reference local history.”
Cllr Jenny Platts, a member of the Principal Towns Commissioning Board, said: “Principal Towns is all about improving local economies and helping local high streets thrive, and this new artwork will add to the attractiveness of Penistone’s town centre making it somewhere people are even more likely to do their shopping and spend their leisure time.
“We’ve found two artists here who have a great feel for what Penistone is about and have a passion for celebrating its heritage and contributing to its future.”
Michael Disley will also be delivering some School of Rock carving sessions in schools in and around Penistone this summer as part of project.
Each child taking part will be provided with a piece of sandstone measuring 30x30cm and a Covid-secure carving kit which includes goggles, a mallet and a chisel.
The children will produce a stone carving inspired by nature such as a leaf, bird or insect. The aim of the workshops is to engage the children in art and sculpture and for them to be able to relate to, and feel part of the new sculpture trail which will be in Penistone Town Centre.
Find out more about the artists on their websites: