The Southam Stories is an oak sculpture created as one of several Southam heritage projects and is hard to miss, standing tall and proud outside the Library on Southam High Street.
The Sculptor, Will Glanfield, was commissioned to create this structure back in 2005, incorporating a series of artworks which were designed and carved in oak by the local community. Initially, community participants were encouraged to explore local stories and memories of their own and of their friends and relatives. This oral history and storytelling was then translated into imaginative drawings, which were in turn converted into designs that would work well as wood carvings.
The sculpture was finally completed in 2007, consisting of a central pentagonal pillar, from which five curved buttresses radiated out and were anchored into the ground. Each buttress holds three bosses (ornamental carvings), each carved on both sides. These can be seen as the eyes of the community looking out and reflecting their environment.
Will Glanfield, sculptor, was quoted as saying “With the sculpture entitled “Southam Stories”, I wanted to create a work which would hold a series of clues to the life of the town. Each carving would hold a story. But what was that story? The Southam Stories Book goes some way to reveal some of the stories, and the artworks produced from them.”
Southam Stories was dismantled for restoration in 2022 and re-erected in March 2023 at a slightly different location to help conserve the sculpture for future generations.