The Mayor of Woking unveils large community-carved totem sculptures

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The Mayor of Woking, Councillor Will Forster, joined residents of Kingsmoor Park in Woking and children from Westfield Primary School to unveil three large wooden totem sculptures carved by the community under the guidance of local artist Ruth Wheeler.

As a celebration of the Thames Valley Housing’s new Kingsmoor Park development, the housing association in partnership with Surrey Arts commissioned artist Ruth Wheeler to work with the Woking community to create hand-carved wooden totems reflecting the community heritage.

Over the past year Ruth has been working with children from Westfield Primary School, residents from Kingsmoor Park and the local residents association, to source and finalise ideas and designs, and then to hold community carving workshops to create the sculptures, which are now located beside the playpark in Jelly Way, Kingsmoor Park.

The three totems reflect both historical and current themes – the farmland on which Kingsmoor Park was built, the Liquorice (sweet) factory previously situated on Liquorice Lane and the multi-cultural and multi-lingual community in Woking.

“I was delighted to be commissioned as the artist for the Kingsmoor Totem Community project,” says Ruth, “as it combines my two most favourite things – wood carving and working alongside people to create and carve their dreams. We have made a public piece of art with real meaning and full respect from the community that have made it.”

Woking Mayor, Councillor Will Forster, said: “These totems are a real testament to the talent of the local community, who, working with artist Ruth Wheeler, have combined the rich history of the area with the influences of today’s residents, to create fun and beautiful pieces of sculpture for the Kingsmoor Park community to enjoy for years to come.”

John Baldwin, Thames Valley Housing Chief Executive said: “This year-long creative process has been a true community effort, starting with design and focus workshops with Kingsmoor Park residents and with pupils from Westfield Primary School and then final designs agreed by a design committee. The carving was a true community experience with over 50 families taking part.”

Ruth Wheeler said: “The designs blend the nature surrounding the estate – trees, leaves and doves – the community, represented by hands and spiral Mehendi patterns designed by the school children, and the historical sweet factory, depicted in the liquorice towers. We also wanted the pieces to have a multi-cultural feeling to them reflecting the local community.

Our wish is that the rest of the community will respect the art that the young people have made.”

The Mayor of Woking, Cllr Will Forster, with local artist Ruth Wheeler (2nd from left), local school children and TVH staff

The Mayor of Woking, Cllr Will Forster, with local artist Ruth Wheeler (2nd from left), Paola Capel Williams and Julie Meme from Woking Borough Council (on right) local school children and TVH staff


The Mayor of Woking, Councilor Will Forster and Thames Valley Housing staff


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Editors notes

The sculpture will be unveiled on: Monday 9 July, 10am, Kingsmoor Park, Liquorice Lane, Woking GU22 9NU.

If you would like high quality photography from this event for press, please contact Anastasia Terzoglou on 0203 819 0450 or by email.

If you would like more information about Thames Valley Housing, please contact Joanne Merriweather on 020 8607 0622 or email her:

You can also find out more about TVH by going to Follow TVH on Twitter @ThamesValleyHA


Thames Valley Housing Association

Thames Valley Housing is based in Twickenham, South-West London and delivers housing for a wide range of people. Founded in 1966, it owns, manages or administers almost 16,000 properties in London and the South East. Thames Valley Housing aims to meet the aspirations of all its customers and residents, helping them to get the home they want or need at the outset, providing further opportunities to move or buy later should they wish. It provides affordable rented homes, shared ownership, and key worker accommodation, including the staff accommodation for nine NHS Trusts.

In order to generate a profit to help fund its social purpose, it also has a market rent business called Fizzy Living; and a joint venture to build housing for sale, called Opal.


About Surrey Arts

Surrey Arts is one of Surrey County Council’s Cultural Services.  Surrey Arts aims to increase people’s interest and participation in the arts throughout the County. In partnership with other organisations, we offer support, tuition, and advice to people of all ages and abilities in areas such asmusicdramadance and the visual arts.

Surrey Arts
14 The Pines
Broad Street
GU3 3BH Tel: 01483 519303


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