Artist: Christopher Jenkins
Title: Pre War Plans
Location: Queensway, Southampton, SO14 3BL
Commissioned by: Raglan Housing
In late 2014 the artist Christopher Jenkins was awarded the commission for The Queensway Development in Southampton. The development created 34 new flats, 5 mews houses, 13 town houses and a commercial unit in Central Southampton. Developers Raglan Housing Association, wished to include a distinctive and site-specific piece of public art, in the form of two sets of bespoke gates, which reflected the sites history and drew upon the stories and characters associated with it.
Christopher originally trained as an illustrator at Falmouth College, and has since diversified into sculpture, while always retaining the sense of narrative that informed his illustration. For the project he proposed a set of gates that were based on the pre war street plans of the area that would reconnect the residents of Queensway with the areas past.
Many areas of Southampton were largely destroyed during the bombing raids of the Second World War, and when the Queensway area was reconstructed it was one of many new areas introduced to the city. Prior to 1945 the location was known as Charlotte Street and was mostly residential with a few small businesses. Raglan renamed the new housing development as ‘Charlotte’s Wharf’ to reference its history and move it away from being a post war development.