An equal partnership between Cambridge City Council and The Hill Group

Published: 30 January 2023

A new public artwork installed at Colville Road



The piece titled Medius weaves together unique pieces of local history; the iconic cherry trees commemorating the loss of servicemen and women; the local chalk pits that once quarried clunch, a hard chalk used in local buildings; and the 19th century discovery of unusually tall skeletons found locally and their resonance with the giant Gog Magog myths.

These histories are brought together at Colville Road Phase 2, where the artwork has been located. This is believed to be the site of the old village green, a middle place – or medius – between the settlements of Church End and Mill End.

Janetka worked with local historian Michelle Bullivant to explore these themes and together they delivered public walks and talks that traced these histories. Janetka also worked with children, staff and parents at Colville school, delivering workshops that explored student’s perception of where the centre of Cherry Hinton is in relation to their body and height.

Central to the project was the involvement of local people. Their contribution, marking a moment in time, has been translated into the final piece. Using local chalk and cherry wood, two hundred residents were invited to have their height marked on tally sticks to create a median height of the community.

The final artwork has been suspended from a newly planted cherry tree. A ring made from cherry wood and resin containing one hundred million year old chalk from a ridge that stretches from England to Europe, also hangs at the median height of the community. Medius continues a relationship with the land, belonging physically, conceptually and emotionally to the area.

The ring is accompanied by a Tottenhoe clunch boulder, which has been cut through the middle to reveal the title of the work. A place to sit and contemplate the ‘slow drama’ as the tree grows into the space the ring occupies. Like the new housing development around it, it will slowly settle and grow into its surroundings.