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Sculpture Trail Artists

Wolfgang Buttress: Golden

Golden by Wolfgang Butress

Wolfgang Buttress is an award winning artist, specialising in creating simple, elegant and contextual pieces of public art. Over the last 15 years he has worked internationally creating artworks in the UK, Europe, Australia, USA and Japan.


His experience includes working collaboratively with a wide range of professional designers and landscape architects, working with a large variety of metals, timber, concrete and glass.



Wolfgang has a deep understanding of structure, process and scale; as he manages to integrate these qualities effortlessly within his work, representing a different approach to the creation of public art.


Stoke-On-Trent City Council commissioned Wolfgang to create an influential piece of public art, following the developments to the Chatterley Valley area. The title references the golden flame that sprang from the original Goldendale ironworks which previously lit the Chatterley Valley, locals for many years referred to the iron works as “the flame that never died”. Golden stands 20m tall at the heart of Tunstall. The sculpture is covered in over 1,000 blown glass prisms and is internally lit by LED lights referencing the amber glow from the Goldendale factory that previously lit up the valley. The lights shine at night, whilst acting as a prism during the day to reflect sunlight around the piece.


Situated in an area known for its manufacturing history the sculpture is cut from cor-ten steel which rusts to an earthy tone that reflects both the steelworks and the clay of the local industries. Lines and marks engraved on to the column have been informed and inspired by the Sutherland Map which is located in the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery. The map clearly shows the layers of geological strata that make up the Chatterley Valley. On a site visit the Wolfgang Butress found a piece of iron from the old works which has a remarkable resemblance to a human heart. This has been suspended in the interior of the artwork to represent the beating heart of the community. Visually and contextually Golden holds strong cultural significance as well as being used to engage and unite the local community. Each prism contains a memory or wish written by a local resident, giving the sculpture personal significance, affecting the impact and strengthening the connection this sculpture has with its surrounding area and population. Through depicting local heritage and reviving the local community, Wolfgang creates a truly inspiring, iconic piece of public art.


Wolfgang has recently been named the winner of the Finalists’ Concepts category on the Milan Expo 2015 Design Competition for his work “BE” and will now design the UK Pavilion for the Expo.


Click here to go to Wolfgang's website

Stoke-on-Trent Sculpture Trail