The new Dover Totems were unveiled and welcomed to Dover by the Town Mayor, Councillor Neil Rix, and the Chairman of Dover District Council, Councillor Sue Chandler. The Totems mark the beginning, midway and end points on the footpath from Athol Terrace leading up to the White Cliffs and the National Trust Visitor Centre linking our bustling town and port with our beautiful surrounding countryside.
The sculptures are made of the same hard wearing marine grade steel as the ships using the harbour. Artist Elaine Tribley worked with local people last year to develop designs based on the fossil remains of the tiny coccoliths, plants from the ancient seas, that formed the chalk cliffs millions of years ago. The work of local botanical artist Anne Pratt inspired the depictions of the plants and flowers found on the cliffs and the wonderful photography of local bird expert Phil Smith was the basis for the birds soaring at the top of each totem.
The Totems will encourage local people and visitors alike to use the path for recreation, health and well-being and allow much better appreciation of the access to the cliff tops with their fantastic views.
The project has been funded by the Up on the Downs Heritage Lottery Funded Programme which includes Dover Town Council, Dover District Council, and the National Trust.
The celebration also marked the official launch of the “Chalk Up 21” trail from Folkestone to Deal including the Dover Totems and 8 other outstanding modern sculptures and buildings on the coastline. The Trail has been developed by Dover Arts Development with funding from Arts Council England and Dover Town Council.
The Dover Totems show just what local people and organisations can achieve when they get together and work in consultation and partnership.
A website for the trail with much more information about the nine structures which form the trail can be found at www.chalkup21.com.