A new art installation in Eastbourne will give residents a space to reflect on their personal experiences during the pandemic.

Councillor Steve Wallis, who was Mayor of Eastbourne when the Covid crisis first struck the UK, felt it was important to have a permanent memorial of the turbulent and challenging times, a place for reflection on loved ones lost and the selfless support many have given to others.

Hampden Park councillors were delighted to have Elm Grove Field selected as the location for the Tree of Reflection.

Councillor Murray said: “Hampden Park has always been the heart of Eastbourne, so we love the idea of the artwork being placed here.”

The sculpture is to be set in Elm Grove Field, which will also see some additional planting in the area in November.Following a competition that saw a number of submissions from local artists, Louise Neter was commissioned.

She said: “The Tree of Reflection is a sculptural representation of a combination of symbolic representations; the natural world; trees as the lungs of the world and as a symbol of the effect of Covid on the human lungs as one of its symptoms. The Reflection Tree has no leaves, symbolising a tree in winter, in rest while holding hope for change.

“Funding for the installation has come from local businesses, residents and town councillors.”

Councillor Murray added: “I’d like to thank all the artists that entered the competition. Sheila Hay, Cassidie Alder, Christian Funnel and Pippa Burley all produced beautiful and thoughtful designs and concepts. And many thanks to everyone who has donated to this wonderful project so far.”

Fundraising is continuing to also create a video soundscape to be accessed from both the site and directly from www.visiteastbourne.comIf you would like to contribute please contact Nicola.hubbard@eastbourne.gov.uk