Anglo-Saxon artwork commissioned for Southend High Street

A new temporary public artwork has been installed in Southend High Street as part of Focal Point Gallery’s annual railway bridge commission.

Focal Point Gallery is pleased to present a new temporary public artwork – Arrowcut Slab (colliding not thriving) – by Rosie Grace Ward, consisting of two new, site-specific works, which will be on view until 13 October 2020.

Drawing inspiration from Southend’s Anglo-Saxon history, each panel – one decorative, one figurative, depict both sides of an intricately carved slab of stone. Digitalised images have been created from Ward’s hand painted watercolours, which heavily reference a fusion of Celtic stone monuments, bas relief carvings and medieval drawings and manuscripts.

The launch of this specially commissioned artwork coincides with the reopening of Southend High Street, with majority of retail businesses, restaurants and cafes, as well as Southend’s Seafront and Pier welcomes visitors safely back to Southend.

Cllr Kevin Robinson, cabinet member for business, culture and tourism, said: “The annual railway bridge commission is always a popular addition to the High Street. With thousands of people now returning to the High Street following the safe reopening of many shops, pubs and restaurants, including the Focal Point Gallery, which reopened July 8, I am delighted to see this fantastic piece of artwork in such a prominent location

“I am thrilled to see so many people out and about in the High Street and seafront, with the vast majority of people adhering to the measures in place to keep ourselves and others safe, whilst returning to some form of normality.”

Katharine Stout, director of Focal Point Gallery, said: “We are delighted to commission site-specific, original artwork for Southend High Street that responds to local history, working with an exciting artist at an early stage of her career who will also be included in our forthcoming international group exhibition, ‘To Dream Effectively’, opening in mid-September.”

For more information about the Focal Point Gallery, including current and upcoming exhibitions, please visit


Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]