Photographer Captures Harlow’s Sculpture Town Status

Arise Innovation Hubs commissioned local photographer Stephen Thomson to produce 12 photos of the sculptures around Harlow Town centre as part of integrating art with innovation at their Hubs.

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The black and white photos printed on vinyl capture a handful out of more than 100 sculptures, designed and built by artists such as Auguste RodinHenry MooreBarbara HepworthGerda Rubinstein and Ralph Brown.


Photographer Stephen explained: “The original brief was to create some wall art that would bring together the innovation element of the Arise project and link it to the town in which it sits.

He continues: “I grew up with all this street art. I climbed on it. It was part of my life. I didn’t know any different; I didn’t know that everywhere wasn’t full of art.


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As well as its sculptures, Harlow is famous for its innovation; the town was the birthplace of optical fibre in the early 1960s. It has moved from mass manufacturing to a mixed economy and is a well-connected place in the heart of the UK Innovation Corridor and is a place of growth, with a 42.1% increase in the number of local businesses since 2010 and £100 million committed by the UK government for town regeneration. 

Now Kao Data resides in Harlow next door to the town’s newly-built Innovation Park. The Anglia Ruskin University's Arise Innovation Hub opened there in 2022 and gives businesses opportunities to participate in live briefs and Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, along with hiring interns and new graduates.


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Dr Beverley Vaughan, Arise Innovation Hubs Director said: It seemed to be a natural and obvious proposal that the Arise Innovation Hubs should have pictures of the artwork. It links the concept of having street art and innovation in the development of a new town post world War 2.


To see how Arise Innovation Hub can support your business, book a tour by emailing [email protected]