Dan Jones

The creation of a sculptural stone bench reflecting the history of the River Dearne

The Artist

Dan has lived in the Dearne valley for his entire life, other than the three years that he spent studying fine art sculpture at Loughborough University. His childhood experience of life in the Dearne Valley was one of stark contrasts. Living in the rural village of Barnburgh, he was immediately surrounded by small working farms, fields of rotating crops, ponds, streams and hedgerows, cows walking to their pasture past his front door and accessible woodlands and trails to explore. Unapologetically butted up against this rural idyll was the Dearne Valley’s various heavy industries with coal mining at its nucleus. Barnburgh Colliery, small in relation to the other pits in the vicinity was on his doorstep and through a series of train-lines, was connected to the network of collieries in his area.

Dan has established his sculptural practice in the Dearne Valley but has been commissioned around the world, working predominantly in stone.

The Commission

Dan produced a sculptural seat that explored the River Dearne, its changing biodiversity and the industries that have relied upon it or have been associated with it. The piece depicts the effects that industrialisation has had on the river both physically and biologically. The seat following the flow of the real watercourse is two sided, offering views of the river to one side and the wider Dearne landscape to the other.

In this work Dan has physically and conceptually broken down the river into three distinct sections – pre-industrial, industrial and post- industrial. The carved stone includes cast glass and ceramic elements developed through community workshops. All reflect the local heritage, community, environment and industry, tied together by the River Dearne.

This is Dan’s final piece.  It is located in Brookfields Park which is in Rotherham on the TPT between Wath & Bolton on Dearne.