Port Talbot Earthwork and Commemorative Sundail 1970

Francis won the public art commission, launched by The British  Transport Dock Board, to created an International Sundial and Commemorative Area at Port Talbot Docks, Wales. It was to commemorated the new harbour and jetty completed in1969 (constructed using 2.5 million tons of limestone rock) for the British Steel Corporation and was opened by the Queen in 1970. The site was redeveloped in the ’90s.

His elemental earthwork used graded stones and limestone from the same quarry that provided the rock for the breakwater and jetty. The layout was influenced by Japanese garden design in its flow and contemplative arrangements and was landscaped into different levels to evoke a sense of place; rocks were used as solitary markers or as screens. Both the organic and formal working together, with elevated areas , monolithic stones, flowing walk ways. He worked on site alongside the construction team, and described the sheer excitement of enormous rocks being, ‘dropped into position above my head’.

The International Sundial, made from Welsh slate and steel was designed to show the time in Port Talbot and six International Ports and was the setting out point for the rock environment which covered about half acre. Opposite is a panel from his show Retrospective at Building Design Centre 1981 ?.

‘Every part of the commemorative area related in scale, direction and shape to the harbour, sea and sundial, the site was conceived as a walk way using scale and texture, that would lead the eye to the commemorative sundial…’ Francis Carr

Japanese Garden an oval shallow was excavated, surfaced with turf and edged with paving.

Barren in aspect, one area was called the Crater of the Moon with a 15 ton rock at its centre and surfaced with chippings.

Earthwork Concept Model.

The Royal opening of The Commemorative Area and International Sundial ’70.