In 2015, we joined forces with Architecture 00. Together, we enjoy collaborating in a shared environment where strategic, urban and social designers, architects, programmers and economists practice design beyond its traditional borders. 00 work with individuals, governments, corporations and communities to solve problems and anticipate change, and to design successful platforms and places. As a studio it aims to reach beyond the design of objects themselves to the social, economic and environmental systems behind them.

Cleddau Reaches

Studio Weave were commissioned by Confluence – an Art & Regeneration organisation supported by Arts Council Wales and Pembrokeshire County Council – to develop a site-specific public artwork for Haverfordwest, as part of the ‘Ideas: People: Places’ programme. 'Cleddau Reaches' (2018) reinforces the connections between the town and its natural environment, in the form of aquatic sculptures that memorialise native trees that once formed part of this river landscape.

Haverfordwest is located on The River Cleddau. Over time, as the town developed, its riverbanks, once lined with trees and wildlife, have become sadly depleted; Distressed by this erosion of the town’s rural habitat, a group of townspeople followed the meandering course of the river beyond the northern reaches of the town where they found dense woodland crowded with native plants and trees; and at the southern reach, an expansive reedbed, flourishing with reed and willow.

From the woodland, the townspeople returned with great fallen boughs and raised them high on the banks where they had once stood; and from the reedbed, they brought neatly woven gifts; and hung them upon the boughs - inviting the return of natural wildlife to the urbanised riverbanks.

In addition to delivering the capital project commission, Studio Weave also led ‘Bigger Picture’ engagement advice - aimed at establishing a Working Group and Community Plan - to build upon the local interest in development and regeneration issues, particularly around the river as a rejuvenated asset of the town.

A series of three ‘reach boughs’ have been installed on the river banks to act as scaffolds for the raising of symbolic ‘bond tokens’ which reanimate and mark the route between ‘Bridge Meadows’ to the North and ‘Fortunes Frolic’ to the South. The reach boughs materially reference the woodland of Bridge Meadows, and are cast in bronze to symbolize an enduring relationship. The ‘bond tokens’ relate to the willow and reed beds of Fortunes Frolic, and are attached by demountable fixings, allowing the installations to be renewed annually.

These installations seek to renew local relations with the river banks, reimagined as a ‘linear park'. Specific characterisations of each sculpture seek to enhance local perceptions of the immediate surroundings by highlighting distinct places along the river - ‘The Village Green’, ‘Picton Place Gateway’, and ‘Weir Falls’. These interventions act as markers, representing an aspiration to strengthen the connections between the town and its natural environment.

The permanent bronze ‘reach boughs’ were cast by MB Fine Arts - a local foundry. And the first set of ‘bond tokens’ were woven by Michelle Cain – a local artist.

The project  was the culmination of a three-year initiative of creative commissions conceived to encourage local people and agencies to engage in the development of their communities. The proposals were informed by a series of public consultation events undertaken in the first half of the Confluence programme. In particular, the proposals build upon ‘The Big Map’ – the outcome of an experimental exercise exploring the riverside, sharing local ideas, hopes and aspirations for the town.