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Golden Wishes Granted by Bitjam

October 21, 2016

Bitjam is proud to have been part of ‘Golden Wishes’ - an artist installation at the Goldendale Ironworks site in Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent. The piece makes reference to the permanently lit flame that was iconic of the ironworks operation.

But first, we must take a trip back in time to understand why such a project was undertaken in the first place. To stand 100 years ago at the top of Tunstall High Street, a pleasant view of Fowlea Brook would have been much blighted by the ironworks at Goldendale that was lit by a perpetual flame that was said would never be extinguished.

The end of the golden era of Stoke’s pottery industry saw the flame finally go out, and it has remained a forgotten icon of forgotten times.

The Flame That Never Dies has reignited the vision of an industry long gone. Standing 21m tall, this public artwork was created by internationally-renowned artist Wolfgang Buttress. Wolfgang commissioned North Staffordshire-based participatory arts organisation Letting in the Light to support the project. Golden contains 1500 glass spheres that shall be internally lit.

The ‘wishes’ have been gathered by 1500 community members. With the help of Letting in the Light, creative writer Sue Harding and local schools, the wishes have been recorded and permanently enclosed within each of the glass spheres.

Bitjam built the Golden Wishes website, but was also supported Letting in the Light with recording the data - the community’s wishes - and displaying them on the website using animated graphics.