Giant bronze statue 'The Yoxman' arrives next to A12 at Yoxford

The Yox Man is lifted to be installed at Cockfield Hall by the A12. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Yoxman is lifted to be installed at Cockfield Hall by the A12. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

A towering man which stands at 26ft tall and weighs eight tonnes now looms over the Suffolk landscape after being installed today close to the A12 at Cockfield Hall.   

The Yoxman by Suffolk artist Laurence Edwards was moved from the foundry at Halesworth Industrial Estate to his new home on the grounds of the private estate in Yoxford.

Sculptor Laurence Edwards by his creation, Yox Man, as he is installed at Cockfield Hall by the A12.

Sculptor Laurence Edwards by his creation, Yoxman, as he is installed at Cockfield Hall by the A12. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

The sculpture took four years to create, beginning with a six inch high model to the bronze behemoth it is now, which is made up of 52 separate pieces.

It is hoped to be a beacon of local identity and a frame of reference for an evolving relationship with the landscape.

"I feel really proud," said Laurence. "There's been a space in the land for four years. He's at his home.

"It really doesn't stick out like a sore thumb, it feels right."

The Yox Man laying on the transport ready to be installed at Cockfield Hall by the A12. Picture: DEN

The Yoxman laying on the transport ready to be installed at Cockfield Hall by the A12. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

The Yoxford-based sculptor emphasised the ambiguity of the Yoxman's emotions, despite his size he's not meant to be heroic or macho but more of a visitor from the past that’s come back.

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Laurence's work often focuses on combining man, nature and time, which the Yoxman embodies.

He is part tree, cove, cliff and figure. Organic matter is built into the casting process; a detritus of leaves, branches, stone and rope.

The sculpture also marks a transforming moment on the River Yox’s journey through the lowlands of East Suffolk, before it flows - as the Minsmere - out into the North Sea.

The Yox Man laying on the transport ready to be installed at Cockfield Hall by the A12. Picture: DEN

The Yoxman stood upright as he was installed at Cockfield Hall by the A12. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Laurence added that the statue embodies "all the issues" from the past few years, such as the consequences of Brexit and Covid.

As for the future, the bronze material means the statue won't be rusting any time soon and will be overseeing the countryside for generations.

While there are not set plans just yet, Laurence hopes the Yoxman may be the first of many totems that span Suffolk and draw in tourists.

The lifting straps are removed from the Yox Man as he is installed at Cockfield Hall by the A12. Pic

The lifting straps are removed from the Yoxman as he is installed at Cockfield Hall by the A12. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

The Wilderness Reserve acquired the site for Yoxman in 2014, after removing deteriorated outbuildings they introduced a new woodland planting to the boundary and created a large lake and marshland in front of Cockfield Hall.

The aim behind this was to create further wetland to aid greater diversity of habitat and the Yoxman aims to add to the landscape composition as a figurehead for this environmental revival.

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