by Elaine Tribley
Created in 2021
Using Kentish ragstone, and etched brass and 316 stainless steel laser-engraved with a permanent coated gloss colour infill
Carefully sited so it can be a focus of contemplation and prayer, open and hospitable to those of all faiths and none, Monument to Ethelburga is formed from Kentish Ragstone complementing the same stone used in the construction of the original church itself.
There are three elements embedded into the stone. Three is the Holy Trinity, and also the three aspects of our humanity: mind, body, and spirit. A circular golden band forms the crown of the piece, engraved with symbols of femininity, Christianity and Ethelburga’s Anglo-Saxon roots. The pattern is derived from designs that are the work of local artisans.
The second element shares with us engraved words of commemoration as their rigid metal base bends to envelope the stone, offering us the opportunity to contemplate all that was her life.
Finally the waters of the Nail Bourne are realised through an engraved pattern, again inspired by the work of local craftswomen, cascading around the girth of the stone following a path into the ground below.
Monument to Ethelburga, with its symbols layered with Christian and more universal meanings, offers to all of us a challenge and a welcome to make this holy space our own.
This artwork has been made possible by the gift of a ragstone block by Gallagher Group of Maidstone, by grants from the following organisations, and by donations from members of the public