Solar horse gateway - JUNCTION 29A M1, DERBYSHIRE, 2012

Solar horse gateway


This Eco Gateway commission was to be sited on the old Markham Vale Colliery slagheap next to the M1 in Derbyshire at junction 29a. This was land once generated an income for local families. I wanted to positively reconnect local families with this landscape.

The site has a series of new businesses which required a strong image to show M1 users where the new development was. The project needed eco credentials. I decided to use a horse as the image for the site – inspired by the pit horses. The horse shape is made from solar panels. The perimeter of the horse is defined by LED’s which are connected to an anemometer so that the variable wind speeds change the colour of the outline of the horse.

The 220m wide horse creates a supply which is sold to the National Grid. This is estimated to generate a supply worth £35,500 every year. More money is made from the solar horse than it takes to light the perimeter lighting. The extra money created goes into a fund which is allocated annually to maintaining the artwork and then local good causes i.e. new musical instruments for the l ocal colliery band or painting the village hall.

The recent announcement of the HS2 route revealed that it goes straight through this site and the project has been shelved.

Thanks for the work and support of Derbyshire County Council, Beam and Seb Boyesen.