The Yoxman

A new and exciting sculpture has been erected in Yoxford, only 5 mins drive from us here at the Farmhouse. The giant bronze statue of a man, 26ft tall, has been installed at Cockfield hall Yoxford Suffolk right beside the A12. A must see when visiting the area!

The Yoxman

A new and exciting sculpture has been erected in Yoxford, only 5 mins drive from us here at the Farmhouse.

The giant bronze statue of a man, 26ft tall, has been installed at Cockfield hall Yoxford Suffolk right beside the A12.

A must see when visiting the area!

Sculptor Laurence Edwards says it is one of the largest bronze pieces to be cast in England in recent years and is “a Green Man for our age”.

” –  a lightning rod for loads of issues about ecology and what we are doing to this planet,” he said.

The statue weighing in at 8 tonnes was transported flat on a lorry from the foundry at Halesworth to Cockfield Hall, where it was craned upright into position.

Mr Edwards has been who has been working on the project in the grounds of the private estate of Cockfield Hall for four years, said he was delighted to see the statue in place.

“He is free,” he said. “This wonderful autumn light is just bringing out all the modelling and all the shape that I’ve thought about for so long.

“When he was on his back it was like topography of landscape and now it’s like a cliff.”

He said it will be “completely in sync and in harmony with the local landscape”

The Challenge

 “The challenge set me by the commissioners is quite extraordinary, they are very ambitious, and really they wanted it to be someone very local and indeed it is my village, which is completely crazy.

The Yoxman was constructed from materials from the earth.  

“Everything on him is from a mile of the studio,” he said.  

The project to bring the Yoxman into existence has taken four years.  

The Making of

“In 2017 we started and we are going to get it in, in November,” he said.  

“From a small maquette that was six inches high to a 90cm high model which was then converted to get to a 26ft high polystyrene man. 

“He looked like a Michelin man – it was completely layered and sedimentary himself.” 

Buckets of plaster were then thrown on the figure along with all sorts of material.  

“Ropes, grasses and with the detritus of the studio as well as the detritus of the landscape,” he said.  

“He became this kind of encrusted man that was becoming free in the studio.” 

Then it was time to create the final bronze piece.  

The Bronze

The project was put together in Mr Edwards’ foundry in Halesworth.  

“We were lucky we had the ceiling space for it,” he said.  

“I never expected to fill it.” 

He had never made anything quite on this scale.  

“Then we had to boot up the foundry to make it of a scale that it could handle casting something of this scale,” he said.  

“Usually, a sculptor would hand this over to another foundry. 

“But we decided to set up a foundry around him, we installed cranes and all sorts of things.” 

The full sculpture was created in 52 separate pieces. 

“It became like an Elmer the elephant, it was a massive patchwork man,” he said.  

“We cast them all in bronze and they were all around the foundry. 

“Slowly he coalesced over a two-year period.” 

Mr Edwards said it was a slightly worrying time hoping that all the pieces would come together.  

“It was way out of anything I have experienced before,” he said.  

“Just to watch this character emerge after two or three years of having lost him. 

“We had a climax a month ago when the cranes lifted what was the top of him onto the bottom. 

“Suddenly he arrived in this industrial estate in Halesworth.  

The birth of a whole new man 

“He’s really powerful with a story to tell. He can be a lot of things to a lot of people.” 

The final piece will be put into place in November with a celebration event set to be held next spring.  

Mr Edwards is looking forward to seeing the Yoxman finally get put into place. 

“It’s going to be fascinating to watch him grow,” he said.  

“Through the landscape and the life that he has ahead of him.” 

Yoxford parish chairman Russell Pearce said he was looking forward to seeing the statue in place. He said: “Pictures don’t do him justice. I don’t think there’s anything like it in Suffolk. It’s awe-inspiring.”

The Yoxman by Suffolk artist Laurence Edwards is set to rise above the local landscape close to the A12 at Cockfield Hall.   

“The clients are long established patrons and are starting a big project over this area of Suffolk,” he said.  

“They wanted to create an icon for the business. A deep-rooted Suffolk kind of idea.” 

Excerpt from EADT

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The Yoxman

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