Sara Barker  Last of Light (3 Needles
1. Sara Barker, Last of Light (3 Needles), 2016, Angel Court, Bank, London EC2 (photo: Leonie Summers)


PMSA’s Marsh Awards Call for Nominations

We are pleased to announce the call for nominations for the PMSA’s Marsh Awards 2017. There are awards in three categories – for Excellence in Public Sculpture, for Public Fountains, and for the Conservation of a Public Sculpture or Fountain.

Nominations have now closed.


Over the past eighteen months there have been a number of exciting new permanent public sculptures installed in the UK. Abstract artworks include Katie Paterson’s Hollow, an intriguing microcosmos of the world’s trees for the University of Bristol, which was installed in May 2016, while only last month Sara Barker’s Last of Light (3 Needles) was unveiled in the heart of the City of London, near Bank (fig.1).

Hazel Reeves, Sir Nigel Gresley
2. Hazel Reeves, Sir Nigel Gresley, 2016, bronze h.221cm.
(photo: Hazel Reeves)

Past PMSA Marsh Award winner, Gordon Young working with Why Not Associates also just completed the first part of, Trading Words at London Dock, Wapping, a typographic granite pavement with echoes of The Comedy Carpet, his winning work at Blackpool, but this time he engages the local community with the heritage of the docks referencing items imported and exported there such as tallow, quills and bear’s grease.

There have been a clutch of figurative works too, many representing women, so we see the inequality in terms of gender representation in public sculpture slowly being redressed. Martin Jennings’ Mary Seacole in front of St. Thomas’s Hospital, the first statue of a named black woman in Britain, finally acknowledges her contribution to nursing during the Crimean War, while Hazel Reeves’ Sir Nigel Gresley, at King’s Cross Station celebrates the achievements of the remarkable locomotive engineer (fig.2).

Alex Woods Celestial
3. Alex J. Wood, Celestial, 2016, patinated bronze
200×250×120cm., Angel, Islington
(photo: Jasper Fry)

3rd Dimension has also noticed works by lesser known sculptors such as Twins by Taslim Martin, two eggs, one in ductile cast iron, the other in stainless steel, which were constructed as part of a community project in Lambeth, while striking pieces such as Alex J. Wood’s gravity defying Celestial at Angel Gate, Islington (fig.3), and Rachel Wilberforce’s Cyclorama commissioned by Network Rail in collaboration with Southwark Council and Better Bankside for the Old Union Arches in Union Street, SE1, have also grabbed our attention.

Outside the capital, amongst others, recent public sculptures feature the young Cilla Black, arms out-stretched to greet her public, in front of the Cavern Club in Liverpool by Andy Edwards and Emma Rogers; the entertainer, Gracie Fields, this the first statue of a woman to be erected in Greater Manchester in over one hundred years, by portrait sculptor and Hollywood prop maker, Sean Hedges Quinn and Women of Steel, another female tribute by Martin Jennings, this time to the women who worked in the muntions factories in Sheffield during World War II. The pioneering aviator Amy Johnson, who drowned when her plane went down off Herne Bay in Kent, is also remembered, her statue was unveiled there last September and sculptor, Stephen Melton, has cast a second for her native City of Hull.

Lots Happening in Hull!

Nayan Kulkarni, Blade, Queen Victoria Square, Hull
4. Nayan Kulkarni, Blade, 2017, fibreglass h.5m., l.75m.
(photo: © Louise Dunning )

These are exciting times for Hull, reinvigorated and triumphant as UK City of Culture for 2017. At the core of the celebrations is ‘Look Up’ their programme of public art. The inaugural work, Blade by Nayan Kulkarni, which heralds this campaign, is a wind turbine rotor blade 75 metres long and 5 metres high (fig.4), made at the local Siemens factory in Alexandra Dock. This ignites Queen Victoria Square with a dramatic fusion of local industry, sustainable power and elegant aerodynamic design. Unashamedly bold and uncompromising, it pierces the space with aplomb and creates a unique engagement with the historic city square. Blade is the world’s largest handmade fibreglass component to be cast as a single object.

Earlier in February this year, at an emotional service, Peter Naylor’s monument to the lost trawlermen of Hull was unveiled at St. Andrew’s Quay, on behalf of the fishing heritage group, Stand. Naylor explained how he had created the silhouettes from images of genuine trawlermen and that he felt ‘in a sense we have brought them home’ with this memorial.

Hotly anticipated photographs from Spencer Tunick’s 2016’s memorable ‘Sea of Hull’ event will finally be on show at the Ferens Art Gallery in the exhibition ‘Skin: Freud, Mueck and Tunick’ from 22 April.

Plymouth launches Public Art Plan

We are also excited about Plymouth as a major destination for public art, because September 2016 saw the launch of its new ‘Public Art Plan’. Indeed applications have just opened for the new Oceansgate permanent public sculpture, the deadline is 17 April so artists GET BUSY!

And Hove Plinth Announces Inaugural Sculpture

Constellation by Jonathan Wright will be the first sculpture installed on the Hove Plinth. One of three final artworks chosen through a national competition in 2015, its creative design is based on an Orrery, a mechanical model of the solar system in which elements representing planets are replaced with features of Hove. Constellation will be followed on the plinth by Flight of the Langoustine by Pierre Diamantopoulo and then Escape by Matthew James Davies.