It would have been impossible in decades gone by to have

imagined anything at Greenham Common beyond the gigantic
concrete runways, the nuclear bombers taking off, towering
perimeter fences and the permanently encamped protestors. But
how time has changed everything. We are now talking about a site
where the commercial development will have a strong cultural element
and there has already been a sculpture competition for creations
within that development. It is all moving very quickly indeed and the
three winners of the competition, organised jointly by the Greenham
Common Trust and the Royal Society of British Sculptors through its
management arm The Sculpture Company have been chosen.
            The three, Michael Kenny, Gudrun Nielsen and Chris Booth very
neatly define the wide range of entrants. Kenny, a Fellow of the RBS, is
a hugely experienced British sculptor, a former head of Fine Arts at
Goldsmiths College, London, who has exhibited around Britain and in
Paris, Tokyo, Milan, Buenos Aires and elsewhere. Nielsen, a Bursary
Member of the RBS, is comparative newcomer showing very exciting
promise. She trained at the Icelandic College of Art and Crafts and
came to London to continue her studies at the Chelsea College of Art
and the University of East London and she already has work in
private collections in Iceland, Denmark and England. Booth is an
International Member of the RBS, a much admired and respected
sculptor from New Zealand.
            Michael Kenny´s design is for the Enterprise Centre, an office and
light industrial development of five buildings. Made of blue/grey
Kilkenny limestone with unpolished stainless steel rods, it is 5,7 metres
high in a circular space 10,5 metres across. It will have a budget of
£20,000. “Normally Michael Kenny confines himself to calm geometric
shapes with a conventional balance.” Said Philomena Davidson Davis,
managing director of the Sculpture Company. “This time he has
introduced conflict and achieved a new dynamism and energy by cutting
into the vertical line and upsetting that conventional balance. “Gudrun
Nielsen´s design, 48 metres long and rising to 3,65 metres at its
highest, will be along the roadside at the entrance to the site, with a
proposed budget of £50,000. She calls it “Changes”. It will be made of
sheet steel, painted white, possibly with concrete from the old airport
runway as its base. “It is a very abstract, minimalist piece.” Said
Philomena. “The individual pieces give it a feel of growth and
            The New Zealander Chris Booth designed something which was
the best idea for a public sculpture anywhere on the site and within the
plans for land use on the site. As yet it is unbudgeted but he receives
£1,500 as do Kenny and Nielsen. He has called his work “Oak Stone”,
inspired by a grand oak tree and he chose the site because it is a
commanding place within a semi wilderness and wonderful indigenous
trees. “Oak Stone” would consists of fourteen slabs of crystaline
sandstone and up to twenty three glaciated granite boulders.
            “We looked through a hundred and fifty submissions, “said Brian
Falconbridge, one of the judges and Head of Visual Arts at Goldsmiths
College. “It was inevitable that many of the sculptors would be strongly
influenced by the recent history of Greenham Common and yet there
was a lack of subtlety in some of those that had obvious references to
bombs and missiles and such things. There was also he usual difficulty
with competitions of trying to assess chalk and cheese, but in the end
we were all in complete agreement about the three winners.
            It was a “blind” judging process and the members of the panel
were Sir Peter Michael (chairman), Philomena Davidson Davis, Brian
Falconbridge, Madeleine Ponsonby (Director, Roche Court Sculpture
Park, Wiltshire), Simon Tait (arts journalist) Hugh Pearman
(architecture and design critic, Sunday Times), Chris Austin (Chairman,
Greenham Commoners Association). JP.