Elizabeth House

    • Client: CATS College Cambridge
    • Local Planning Authority: Cambridge
    • Location: Cambridge

Place Services worked with CATS College Cambridge on the development of Elizabeth House in Chesterton. Artist David Appleyard was appointed to create an interpretive artwork, reflecting the heritage of Chesterton whilst engaging the international residential students based at Elizabeth House.

The public art commission required the artist, David Appleyard, to interpret the heritage of Chesterton and provide a sense of place for the students at CATS College. Elizabeth House is a residential and teaching facility, home primarily to international students between the ages of 14-18. An aspiration for a piece that could inform, and connect the students to the location was therefore important.

CowPYE fuses together three strands of Chesterton's heritage, in a light-hearted way, to form a stone circle where people can congregate.

The installation comprises of six cow forms, each has a brass horn/bell that has been tuned to one of the six lower notes of E Major (E, F#, G#, A, B, C#) referencing the bells at St Andrew’s Church opposite Elizabeth House. The horns can be played either with a glockenspiel hammer or by slapping them with your thumb.

The bovine forms are a nod to the cows that have been grazed in this area for centuries.

As well as representing the stylised shape of a cow, the forms have been informed by the early electrical consumer goods, manufactured locally by the famous electronics firm PYE Ltd. Pye was originally founded in 1896 by William George Pye and the red brand on each stone form is reminiscent of the famous red badge, which adorned later products such as radios and televisions; in this context providing the branding for the small herd.

The artist worked with the students of Elizabeth House and stakeholder group in the development of the project, whilst attending community events to engage local residents in the project and the naming of the cows.

People involved...