Mosses Sculpture Trail

Artists Elizabeth Turner and Keith Ashford created a series of waymarking sculptures which were located along a 3 mile long art trail of sculptures and sound at Fenn’s and Whixall Moss during July to November 2021.

Ashford and Turner’s work often explores the ways in which people look at and experience their surroundings and their place on the Earth; sometimes there are strange shifts in our perception of scale and distance when considering the near and the far.  The Mosses sculptures were designed to be interactive, reframing the landscape for the viewer to take a fresh look. The artworks relate to the flat expanse of the Mosses, its changing water levels and the wide horizon line, inviting visitors to reconsider their relationship to this unique place.

Walking through this landscape can give rise to a feeling of unknowability and disorientation; where is the centre of the Moss and how far is it to the other side? The artists make sense of this unusual experience by equating walking with the mapping process.  Inspired by wood and metal working tools and measuring tools, the artworks explore the idea of distances across the Moss and our own scale in this landscape. 

They question how we value land, relating back to a time when surveyors and landowners started the mapping process, to draw lines, divide and control what might appear to be a flat and featureless landscape. What might seem to be an arbitrary straight line on a map can be as significant as the border between countries.

The sculptures were made from a mixture of corten (rusted) steel, stainless steel and timber; materials that echo the industrial heritage of this place, part of the language of fragments left from the peat industry and military use of the land.

This work was funded by Arts Council England under the Mosses and Marshes project led by Andrew Howe and Kim V. Goldsmith. The artists are very grateful to Natural England and Shropshire Wildlife Trust for their support and assistance on site.

Read more about the artists’ thought process and research in the blog here.


Inclinometer, 2021

Laser cut corten steel

An inclinometer measures elevation and slope across a horizontal plane. The sculpture uses this shape to explore levels across the Moss, drainage and movement of water, the pull of gravity and walking across the landscape.

Viewers can look through the curved aperture to the horizon line. The sculpture relates to the experience of slowly turning your head to take in a wide view and how we sometimes can sense the curvature of the earth.



Centre Finder, 2021

Laser cut corten steel

A tool used for locating the centre of a circle, inspired by walking across the Moss and questioning where the centre of it could be.

Centre Finder


Centre Finder II, 2021

Laser cut stainless steel

The highly reflective version of Centre Finder relates to the many pools of water across the peat bog.

Centre Finder II


Alidade, 2021

Corten steel, stainless steel and timber

A device for sighting distant objects used in triangulating and surveying. The two stainless steel pieces bring together reflections of the sky and the ground in a single view.


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