Home-grown Corby documentary taking a look behind the scenes of sculpture park

The film was made by BAFTA award-nominated director Paul Balmer with help from apprentices

By Alison Bagley
Saturday, 11th April 2020, 6:00 am

A movie of a community arts project has been released to mark phase two of Corby Sculpture Park with the finishing touches to be completed when the coronavirus lockdown has been lifted.

Film maker and Oakley Vale Community Association member Paul Balmer has been documenting progress of the lake-based installations since the first sculptures were unveiled in 2017.

His team of apprentice film makers have been documenting the newest phase of the development on the Oakley Vale estate.

Paul Balmer (left) with the team from Cooney Marine, Kettering who helped to manufacture the Heron Tree sculpture

Mr Balmer said: "The film was going to be shown at the official opening of the sculpture park and it was going to have contributions from the 100 volunteers but we couldn't do it because of the virus situation.

"We were going to have interviews against a green screen but weren't able to do that. I had to use captions instead of talking heads."

The sculpture park was to have signage made by Tresham College students which will be erected after the lockdown finishes.

Mr Balmer said: "I bust a gut to get those signs finished in time and now they are in the Rooftop Gallery waiting to be put up.

Heron Tree with l-r Tom Nicholl and Su Eld-Weaver from GP Diving and Paul Mills from MVS (Marine Service Volunteers).

"I called the film The Rooftop's Revenge because the first sculptures weren't made by a Corby artist. The next ones were designed at the Rooftop Gallery."

The film shows the 14 months of intensive work behind the scenes which was shot by Mr Balmer assisted by trainee film makers Jakub Litwin, Elliot Smith and Karl Balmer - Paul's son.

Mr Balmer, who is also a musician, wrote a special tune as a tribute to Corby artist Ray Andrews, who designed the piece 'Corby Heritage'.

The sculptures form an extension to Corby's sculpture park near the lakes either side of Chatsworth Road and were designed by members of Corby Rooftop Arts Centre.

Heron Tree and Corby Heritage

Corby Heritage incorporates wood from Rockingham Forest, steel from Stewarts and Lloyds and Brick from The Corby Brick Company, gifted by Ray Andrew, who died last year.

Heron Tree, stainless-steel six-stemmed branched design, incorporates the iconic Steelman’s ladle, as well as one of the ‘Twa Corbies’, or ravens, from the town’s heraldry and a nod to the town's road system in the tubular design.

Designed by Richard Harrison, Warren Shaw and Dinah Kazakoff the stainless steel artwork was created by Kettering-based specialist marine engineers Cooney Marine transforming the drawings into a reality using a 3D tube bending machine that produces components for luxury yachts.

The pair of sculptures gracing two of the Corby's Oakley Vale estate's lakes had been placed into the water and were to be officially unveiled at a special floating ribbon cutting ceremony.

Local volunteer scuba divers spent three-and-a-half hours adjusting the foundations to make sure that they were secure and upright.

For more information go to the Corby Sculpture Park Facebook site.

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