A NEW and unique piece of Anglo-Saxon artwork appearing at Southend's railway bridge has become the centre-piece of the high street.

The temporary piece has been installed as part of Focal Point Gallery’s annual railway bridge commission.

'Arrowcut Slab' by Rosie Grace Ward, will be on show until October 13.

The cost for production and installation of the piece was £4967, which was entirely paid for by grants from Arts Council England Project Grants and the Art Fund.

Drawing inspiration from Southend’s Anglo-Saxon history, each panel – one decorative, one figurative, depict both sides of an intricately carved slab of stone.

Digitalised images have been created from Rosie’s hand painted watercolours, which heavily reference a fusion of Celtic stone monuments, has relief carvings and medieval drawings and manuscripts.

Last year saw Southend Museum launch an exhibition of relics from Saxon King's burial ground, which was first discovered under Priory Crescent in 2003, and has been described as the most significant Anglo Saxon discovery in the UK in recent memory.

The launch of Rosie's specially commissioned artwork coincides with the re-opening of Southend High Street, with the majority of retail businesses, restaurants and cafés, as well as Southend’s Seafront and Pier welcoming visitors safely back to Southend.

Katharine Stout, director of Focal Point Gallery, said: “We are delighted to commission site-specific, original artwork for Southend High Street that responds to local history, working with an exciting artist at an early stage of her career who will also be included in our forthcoming international group exhibition, ‘To Dream Effectively’, opening in mid-September.”

Councillr Kevin Robinson, cabinet member for business, culture and tourism, added: “The annual railway bridge commission is always a popular addition to the High Street.

"With thousands of people now returning to the High Street following the safe re-opening of many shops, pubs and restaurants, including the Focal Point Gallery, which reopened July 9, I am delighted to see this fantastic piece of artwork in such a prominent location.

“I am thrilled to see so many people out and about in the High Street and seafront, with the vast majority of people adhering to the measures in place to keep ourselves and others safe, whilst returning to some form of normality.”

For more information about the Focal Point Gallery, including current and upcoming exhibitions, please visit www.fpg.org.uk

With thanks to support from Arts Council National Lottery Project Grant, and the Art Fund.