Seven contemporary sculptures have been selected to be installed in Kingston town centre as part of a new sculpture trail arriving this summer. An open call saw nearly forty submissions from artists from Kingston and beyond to be considered by the sculpture trail selection panel, which included two local students and was chaired by renowned international artist David Mach RA (creator of the iconic red phone box sculpture ‘Out of Order’ on Old London Road).
The panel met at the end of May to decide which artworks should form part of the trail, which will also incorporate existing public art including the new eleven metre long three channel video installation ‘Echolocation’ from Mat Collishaw and Carole Hodgson FRSS’s 1986 wall-based sculpture of Icarus holding a Sopwith Camel in the Cattle Market car park. The seven winning artworks are:
- ‘Kingston Spinning Sculpture’ by Roger Clarke MRSS – A colourful sculpture that invites viewers to interact by spinning it
- ‘AANGEL’ by David Begbie MRSS – An androgynous angel figure, acting as a ‘guardian’ or benevolent presence looking over Kingston
- ‘Time and Tide’ by Marigold Hodgkinson FRSS – A curved, mirrored sculpture which shifts gently in the wind reflecting light and it’s continuously changing surroundings
- ‘The Kiss’ by Alex R T Davies MRSS – Part of a series of sculptures titled ‘Unwanted Monuments’, two bronze street cones ‘kiss’ inspired by Rodin and Constantin Brâncuși’s piece of the same name, conveying the delicate intimacy of the subject with ordinary objects with no gender
- ‘Party Animal’ by Alex R T Davies MRSS – From Davies’ same series ‘Unwanted Monuments’, a bronze goat sculpture stands proudly with a street cone on its back, inviting the viewer to touch and even sit on the piece
- ‘Mountain’ by Stefan Jovanović & Jack Hardy – a large interactive steel sculpture designed as a symbolic fireplace for gathering, an offering and an invitation to the folks of Kingston to touch and listen to, in sun, wind and rain
- ‘The Juggernaut of Nought’ by Richard Trupp MRSS – a large, industrial wedge-shaped sculpture celebrating the industrial heritage of the Thames riverbank and creating a moment of pause in its surroundings
The project is being organised through a partnership of the Canbury Community Trust, Kingston Council, Kingston First and Kingston University, who are working together to launch the trail ready for visitors in mid-August.
The trail will run across the town centre including the riverside and Canbury Gardens, North of the town centre and will be in place for up to six months. Residents and visitors will have the opportunity to vote for their favourite sculpture and this will become a permanent artwork in the town centre. The winning artist will receive £10,000 prize money. You can find out more about the trail here.
David Mach RA, artist and creator of ‘Out of Order’ (1989) said:
“It’s great to see Kingston still pursuing Public Art for its streets. A fantastic opportunity for the artists involved and very enjoyable to meet with the other judges to pick out our favourites.“
Kirsten Henly, Chief Executive of Kingston First said:
“Seven exciting new artworks will be installed in the town centre this summer, contributing to Kingston’s strong and varied offer and encouraging visitors to come and enjoy the trail. The incredible legacy of this project will be a permanent sculpture, as voted on by residents of Kingston, sited in the town to be appreciated by generations to come.”
Councillor Rebekah Moll, Portfolio Holder for Culture at Kingston Council said:
“The Kingston Sculpture Trail reinforces the Council’s commitment to supporting arts and culture as an integral part of our wider economic recovery. We are delighted to be part of this innovative project connected with so many internationally renowned artists. To be able to showcase their work here in Kingston, in some of our wonderful public spaces, shines a light on all that the town centre and our stunning riverside has to offer residents and visitors alike.”
Mandy Ure, Dean at Kingston School of Art said:
“I’m delighted that Kingston School of Art and Kingston University have been able to support this exciting project for the borough, and know that these commissions will be great additions to the town centre. The chosen sculptures will engage visitors through their story-telling, creativity and playfulness to encourage participation in their environment and offer a moment for reflection.”
Paul Stafford MRSS, Hon Fellow Kingston University said:
“As an artist, educator and resident of Kingston for over 30 years, I am very proud of our town and how it has grown in confidence and developed, whilst supporting culture and the arts. I hope that our Kingston Sculpture Trail will add to the experience of both residents and visitors and enhance their enjoyment of the riverside and town centre. We are fortunate in that we have attracted interest from extremely high quality, world class artists, who want to be a part of our continuing story. I hope everyone enjoys these new artworks as much as we have enjoyed selecting them.”