Winter / Hörbelt
St Eanswyth’s Return
Commissioned for Creative Folkestone Triennial 2021
The German artist duo Wolfgang Winter and Berthold Hörbelt, Winter / Hörbelt contribute to a striking sculptural intervention in the urban landscape to The Plot.
St Eanswyth’s Return marks the spot where, in the 1960s, two streets of houses were demolished in order to create a new dual carriageway ‘gyratory’. The new traffic system (Shellons Street) cut across Guildhall Street, which was excavated to a depth of 12 feet at the point where St Eanswyth’s Water had previously flowed towards the Town Hall. The disruption to the flow of people and traffic along Guildhall Street (previously for many centuries the arterial route between East Folkestone and The Bayle) had a disastrous effect not only on the economy of the street itself but on the whole area of Folkestone that was served by this connection.
Winter / Hörbelt have taken up the challenge of ‘remembering’ the historical trauma of this severance through the introduction of a black barrier that emphasises the blockage represented by the new road. The barrier keeps its horizontal upper edge, despite the falling ground, suggesting the horizontal flow of St Eanswyth’s Water. The tree-fountain reproduces a tree that died while the sculpture was being planned, and adds the hope of renewal that flowing water symbolises so strongly.
In this way, St Eanswyth’s Return provokes and confronts by virtue of the sombre obstacle of the black wall; but it also provides a pause-point, an opportunity for re-consideration in the moment of beauty captured by water flowing from a dead tree, imaginatively suggesting both the historic and the future significance of the crossing.
The artists Wolfgang Winter and Berthold Hörbelt have collaborated since 1992 under the name Winter / Hörbelt. They understand their cooperation as a synergy of ideas and skills in research of an expanded concept of sculpture – and draw inspiration from the endless possibilities presented by that expansion. Their research takes them on a journey through all areas of sculptural practice and may include architecture or music. They often create building-like sculptures or sound-animated objects using unconventional and industrial materials such as plastic crates, car brake lights or found objects.
Winter / Hörbelt live and work in Frankfurt am Main.
Find more of Winter/Hörbelt's work.
Winter / Hörbelt, St Eanswythe’s Return, commissioned for Creative Folkestone Triennial 2021. Photo by Thierry Bal