SECRET doors have opened up a world of adventure for young and old in Shoreham.
The Adur Portals art project on Coronation Green has given the town a fascinating sculpture with a host of mysteries to explore.
Sculptor Teresa Martin, whose family has lived in the town for several generations, has created a series of doors and windows on the north wall.
Marlipins Museum, in High Street, helped inspire the work and she has used the same Caen stone, as well as flints napped by cars driving on the South Downs.
“I wanted to create the idea that there was a passage under the road, because we knew that there had been some there,” she explained.
“When they built the road, they destroyed the tunnels. There was definitely one to where Paradise Pets is now, which was The Star pub, but no-one knows exactly where they were.
“It was mainly inspired by Marlipins Museum because it is such an amazing building and many people don’t realise it. The passage there was destroyed, too.”
The concept invites both adventure and closure, and for Teresa, it was the end of a personal journey.
She explained that her mum, Denise Parsons, had died a couple of years ago and when she developed Alzheimer’s Disease, it was all she talked about.
Teresa’s mother had lived on Shoreham Beach and she was brought up there.
“We used to play down here as children and look at the little drain holes on the bridge and all sorts,” Teresa recalled.
It was those memories which prompted the many mysteries hidden in the Adur Portals, including actual photo negatives of families and workmen from the district.
Sculpture workshops were held, where grandparents worked with their grandchildren to create creatures which might have lived in the chalk downs, forming burrows.
“These burrows eventually filled with silica, becoming the flint stones used in the chequered walls of the Marlipins,” explained Teresa.
“All ages can enjoy peering into these newly-formed flints to see what has been entrapped and set in time from now.”
Her daughter Abby Martin, 26, who now lives in her mother’s old house, worked on the project with her, beginning back in September.
Students at Northbrook College and Steyning Adult Education were also involved, making fossils in resin.
The Adur Portals is one of five public art projects funded by Adur District Council, using money from Tesco’s development at Holmbush.