Shelley fountain sculptor shares her views on future of town centre piece

By Charlotte Schroeter

The sculptor who created the Shelley Fountain/Rising Universe has expressed her disappointment at Horsham District Council (HDC) for the money it thinks it will take to run the fountain every year.

Angela Connor won a competition and designed the fountain, which she called the Cosmic Cycle, in 1992 to mark the bicentenary of the birth of poet Percy Shelley who was born in Horsham. The fountain once again faces removal and will be discussed at a public consultation.

Angela has created many other public sculptors and told The District Post that none of them cause any problems other than this one. HDC told Angela that it will cost £28,000 for her just to look at the fountain.

Angela told The District Post: “I want to come and look at the fountain with a professional, I can’t believe it will cost £43,000 a year. I have written to the council [HDC] but I have had no reply. I believe it could be run a lot cheaper than this. It’s daft to spend that much, all this shouldn’t be kept a secret, I’m trying to help them not fight them.

“If I were a citizen in Horsham, I would be annoyed at that cost. So much money has been spent on it and the council may now just remove it. They don’t consult me on their decisions. They have removed parts and covered it up and I wasn’t consulted. I think they are trying to make the fountain look as bad as possible.”

Angela said the design was an artistic concept and she put a lot of heart into it. The idea behind it comes from Shelley who wanted to rise beyond material means and enter into a poetic level. The fountain rises to this level and is fed before rising again. Angela was very keen to use natural forces for the fountain.

“Why is it not working when they have spent huge sums on it? I remember when crowds queued to sit on the seats around the fountain like they were queueing for a cinema release. It is unique and what people come to Horsham to see. Horsham isn’t famous for its shops as you get them everywhere, it’s famous for its sculpture.”

Angela believes that citizens are not being given the correct information by the council and sees no reason why it is not working as she said a basic pump would work.

“It’s odd to build it, spend money on it then destroy it.”

One comment on “Shelley fountain sculptor shares her views on future of town centre piece

  1. Another important factor which has been overlooked is that this design was initially offered to Cambridge City Council in the early 1990s but it was turned down by them due to public protest. The ‘sculptor’ then marketed it to Horsham, under the guise of a link to Shelley, and Horsham District Council were foolish enough to accept it . Now is definitely the time to erase that mistake!

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