The Grade II listed United Reformed Church has been refurbished along with the old nursery and former Dole Office in Spencer Yard as part of Leamington’s ten-year Creative Quarter initiative.
The United Reformed Church is now the home of independent marketing group Cogent who are working in partnership with the SAE Institute to provide two-year degree courses in creative media.
The Spencer Yard project has received a grant from the Future High Streets Fund as part of the Government’s plan to renew and reshape town centres – making them a more attractive place to live, work and visit – along with a loan from West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) which was arranged by Frontier Development Capital.
Leamington-based Lucy Tomlins, who is an artist, creative producer and founding director of the Pangaea Sculptors' Centre based in Coventry and London, was commissioned by CDP to create the colourful sculptures which were formed through five-axis machinery using digital technology and then painted by hand.
Lucy said the inspiration for the sculptures was taken from the Camoufleurs since a large number of distinguished artists and designers were based in Leamington during World War II after being enlisted by the government to use artistic techniques to protect sensitive sites and military vehicles through camouflage.
She said: “The sculptures signify the connection between the Camoufleurs who were based at the Old Dole Office within Spencer Yard and the new life which has been created there through the digital sector.
“The artists had a wonderful ability during the Second World War to distort everything from ships to cooling towers and by using state-of-the-art Nanite Triangle Visualisation the sculptures which have been created reflect their ‘razzle dazzle’ camouflage.
“The triangles in the sculptures flatten their appearance so when you walk up to them the experience is different from looking at them from a distance.
“I wanted it to be in tune with the Creative Quarter which CDP is developing as well as the creative community of ‘Silicon Spa’ in Leamington.
“If you don’t play computer games then it will still be as interesting as it is for digital and gaming professionals, and it would be great for The Nanite Garden to be appreciated by a wide audience.”
Ian Harrabin, Managing Director of regeneration specialists CDP, said the sculptures in The Nanite Garden were a wonderful addition to Leamington’s Creative Quarter.
He said: “The sculptures focus on the digital animation and visualisation of art and how they relate to the Camoufleurs, who moved to Leamington to begin their patterned work at the site in Spencer Yard to disguise structures along with military vehicles and airfields.
“These artworks are a fantastic symbol of the past and modern eras using different techniques, and the history of the site and its future use as a digital creative production hub have been replicated superbly.”
Councillor Ella Billiald, Warwick District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Arts and Economy, said: “Pangaea has built a magnificent sculpture, showcasing cubist art whilst reflecting the ingenuity and creativity of the Camoufleurs. They have captured the movement of shape and colour and really enlivened the space, boosting the area's reputation as a centre for digital and creative excellence.”
Pictured: From the left, James Brookes (Complex Development Projects), Lucy Tomlins (Pangaea Sculptors' Centre), Cllr Chris King (Warwick District Council), Cllr Sidney Syson (Warwick District Council) and Mayor of Leamington Spa Cllr Alan Boad