Vote for Wirksworth’s StarDisc

Picture by Tony Fisher
Picture by Tony Fisher

The 21st century stone circle and celestial amphitheatre that is Wirksworth’s StarDisc could be in line for a National Lottery Award – but to secure it your help is needed.

The annual award is given to the project which has the most backing from the community and therefore StarDisc needs you to vote on its behalf.

The artist behind the project, Aidan Shingler was supported by the National Lottery when he originally created the StarDisc and he was recently invited to apply for the 2014 arts award.

He has just heard that the giant star chart has made it on to the shortlist along with six other worthy arts projects nationwide, so now it is down to the public to vote for their favourite during the summer.

“There were 750 submissions for the awards this year so to be on the shortlist is really quite something,” he said.

“What I am hoping is that the award will help the project to gain wider recognition in the county and beyond. I really want Derbyshire people to let others know what we have here by voting for it.

“It really is a hidden secret in many ways and many people don’t know about it. It would be good to win the award and broaden knowledge of it throughout Derbyshire and the region.”

The StarDisc, which was completed in 2011 after six years of hard work and £103,000 of funding, has been created in a breathtaking location in Stoney Wood overlooking the Ecclesbourne Valley.

It spans 12 metres and the star chart, which mirrors the northern hemisphere’s night sky, is carved into black granite. The surface is inscribed with the constellations, their names, and a depiction of the Milky Way.

Contrasting with the star chart is a perimeter of silver granite with 12 seats that signify the months of the year.

At night 72 lights powered by the sun illuminate the disc and it is a spectacular sight, beloved of photographers.

The vision behind the project was to create an environment where everyone could gather, contemplate and connect with whatever lies beyond the sphere of our world.

Another reason why Aidan wants to raise awareness of the artwork is that he and project collaborator Phil Bramhall aspire to establish the StarDisc Array; a network of satellite StarDisc’s across the UK.

He says that seen from above the Array would form a constellation embedded into the nation’s geographical landscape.

The National Lottery Award voting opened on June 25 and closes on July 23. To back the project all you have to do is log on to http://www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards/arts

Details of all the finalists will be there and you will be told how you can vote for StarDisc.