NEW public artwork which will grace the streets of Pontypool will be created by the artist behind Newbridge's Hallelujah Lamp.

The project, named Pontypool Patterns and inspired by the town's famous Japanware, is the work of artist Stephen Broadbent, who was commissioned by Torfaen council to design and produce the artwork.

He told the Free Press: "The sculptural seats will be based on Pontypool's famous Japanware, and will be stove enamelled with bright colour patterns, telling stories relating to the community.

"They will be vessel-like, but incidental and part of the street scene, and not big 'in your face' objects."

Five pieces will be dotted around George Street and will act as incidental seating, distinctive markers and meeting points.

Mr Broadbent is involving Pontypool people and schools in developing themes for the patterns that will feature on the seats which will be a key feature in the newly refurbished street.

He added: "I love Pontypool and believe it has tremendous potential. I want to demonstrate the character of the place and hopefully bring more people to the area.

"I have been going round to the primary schools and have also been working with students from West Mon who have created one of the patterns. "We have involved as many people as we can."

Pontypool's town centre is undergoing a transformation to make the area safer and more pedestrian-friendly.

Cobblestones and bollards have been removed and replaced with more sympathetic materials.

When all the work is finished it is hoped the town centre will be able to accommodate an exciting programme of events and activities.

The work is all part of the £10m Pontypool Settlement Area project.

In Newbridge Mr Broadbent's Hallelujah Lamp, which was inspired by an unfurling fern and its siteÕs past as a meeting place for church congregations, has divided public opinion with some describing it as something out of teletubby land.

For more information about the Pontypool project call Kate Fitzgerald on 01633 648319 or email

Stephen Broadbent, 51, was born in Wroughton, Wiltshire and now lives and works near Chester. He is married to Lorraine and the couple have three children Jedidiah Lucy and Isaac.

He has worked as artist for the past 32 years, following an initial period of study under the sculptor Arthur Dooley. Stephen had his first one-man exhibition in London in 1982. Beginning with limited edition bronze sculptures and gallery work, Stephen has grown in skill and experience Ð rising to the challenges of increasingly larger public sculptures, and urban design projects such as the one commissioned for Pontypool.

In 1997 Stephen established a limited company - Broadbent, building around him a team of artists and designers able to respond to the increasing demands of integrated artwork commissions for the built environment.