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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

The PSSA Marsh Awards

 

WINNER OF 2022 PSSA MARSH AWARD FOR PUBLIC SCULPTURE

Veronica Ryan OBE,Custard Apple (Annonaceae), Breadfruit (Moraceae) and Soursop (Annonaceae), Narrow Way Square, Hackney, London E8

 

WINNER OF 2022 PSSA MARSH AWARD PUBLIC VOTE

Eve Shepherd, The Betty Campbell Monument, Central Square, Cardiff, Wales

 

WINNER OF 2022 PSSA MARSH AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE

IN THE CONSERVATION OF A PUBLIC SCULPTURE

Rupert Harris Conservation Ltd Bargate Lions attrib. John Cheere (1709-1787), North side of the Bargate, High Street, Southampton

For further details see Home page

 

 

THE 2022 SHORTLIST FOR EXCELLENCE IN PUBLIC SCULPTURE

Alex Chinneck, A Spring in your Step, Circus Street, Brighton, Sussex, see link and below.

Alexandre da Cunha, Sunset, Sunrise, Sunset, Battersea Power Station Underground Station, London SW11, see link and below

Laurence Edwards, A Rich Seam, Print Office Street, Doncaster, West Yorkshire, see link and below.

Laurence Edwards, Yoxman,  Cockfield Hall, Yoxford, Suffolk, see below.

Diane Lawrenson, Contemplation, Anne Lister, The Piece Hall, Halifax, West Yorkshire see link and below.

Veronica Ryan, Custard Apple (Annonaceae), Breadfruit (Moraceae) and Soursop (Annonaceae), Narrow Way Square, Hackney, London E8, see link and below.

Eve Shepherd, The Betty Campbell Monument, Central Square, Cardiff, Wales, see link and below

Lee SimmonsThe Tay Whale, Dundee Waterfront, Dundee, Scotland, see link and below.

Ben Twiston-Davies, Ebenezer Howard, Howardsgate, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire see link and below.

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THE 2022 SHORTLIST FOR EXCELLENCE

IN THE CONSERVATION OF A PUBLIC SCULPTURE OR FOUNTAIN

 

Jackson Sculpture Conservation – Turning Forms by Barbara Hepworth (1903-1975), The Marlborough Science Academy, Watling Street, St Albans, Hertfordshire

London Stone Conservation – King Alfred the Great, Roman 2nd century A.D./18th century, Trinity Church Square Gardens, London SE1

Rupert Harris Conservation – Bargate Lions attrib. John Cheere (1709-1787), North side of the Bargate, High Street, Southampton (see below)

Alex Chinneck

A Spring in your Step

Circus Street, Brighton, Sussex

My latest public artwork creates the illusion that a spiral staircase is spectacularly springing apart in three directions across the facade of a building in Circus Square, Brighton.

Following the familiar form of a spiral staircase at its base, the sculptural helix uncoils as it rises upwards and outwards over Circus Square. The effect is achieved by separating the handrail and stringer from the central pole, freeing them to dance around each other in a seemingly effortless and organic way. The three steel ribbons burst apart with sculptural energy, introducing movement into the volume above the courtyard while helping to animate and enliven the space below.

The surreal sculpture occupies the full height of a key architectural elevation at the heart of the square, creating a bold and playful backdrop for this new event space. Titled A Spring in your Step the site-specific artwork was conceived in direct response to the location and seeks to contribute to the energetic, creative atmosphere envisaged for it.

Made in Brighton, from marine-grade galvanised steel, the springing staircase is arguably my most complex and ambitious undertaking to date. The sculpture took three years to complete, weighs four tonnes, is 25 metres tall, and follows a non-repeating, expanding and contracting helical form. A Spring in your Step epitomises my work, which disrupts the world around us, transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary. Alex Chinneck

Alex Chinneck, A Spring in your Step, Circus Street, Brighton, Sussex (photo: Marc Wilmot).

Alexandre da Cunha

Sunset, Sunrise, Sunset

Battersea Power Station Underground Station, London SW11

A commission by Art on the Underground for the new Battersea Power Station Underground Station, Sunset, Sunrise, Sunset is a monumental kinetic sculpture reflecting on daily cycles. Stretching 100m and 60m in length, the artwork incorporates two friezes that face each other along the length of the ticket hall. Made using an outdated advertising mechanism – the rotating billboard – Alexandre da Cunha has created a moving sculpture of shifting colours informed by London sunsets and sunrises. The artwork was inspired by the former control room at Battersea Power Station and its system of vertical bars that regulated the production and output of electricity into the city. Bringing these resonances together with the daily flow of dawn to dusk, Sunset, Sunrise, Sunset refers to cycles, routine, the everyday and eternity.

Alexandre da Cunha, Sunset,Sunrise, Sunset, 2021, Battersea Power Station
Underground Station. © Alexandre da Cunha.  Courtesy the artist and Thomas Dane Gallery (photo: GG Archard TFL_BPS_2021-09-15_08.jpg TFL).

Laurence Edwards

A Rich Seam

Print Office Street, Doncaster, West Yorkshire

Forty portraits were modelled of miners and their community. Each two hour sitting was filmed by students, recording not only buttery wax heads evolving in the hands of the sculptor, but fascinating life stories told by the miners. The heads were eventually cast into bronze and set in two 20 tonne blocks of local York Stone, the bed rock in which the coal is found, they were set as if in a coal seam.

A miner stands between them listening not only to the stories of the heads, but to the sounds of the mine. ‘Pit Sense’ was often spoken of by the sitters, the acute sense of the sound and smell of a pit. The forty films of the sessions were edited and now form a valuable social archive, which is accessed by smart phones and QR codes at the info points next to the sculpture, in the centre of Doncaster. Laurence Edwards

Laurence Edwards, A Rich Seam, Print Office Street, Doncaster, West Yorkshire (photo: Danny Heaton).

Laurence Edwards

Yoxman

Cockfield Hall, Yoxford, Suffolk

The Yoxman is part cliff, cove and tree, his body is suffused with the detritus of leaves, branches, stones and rope. His surface reflects the colours of the nearby fugitive coastline, he is an eroding man connected forever to his land.  ‘What we do to it – we do to ourselves’ seems to be the  message. Hence his reticence, eyes downcast, he is a revenant bearing witness to a contemporary world endlessly processing by on the busy road  before him. Laurence Edwards

 

Laurence Edwards, Yoxman, Cockfield Hall, Yoxford, Suffolk (photo: Laurence Edwards).

Diane Lawrenson

Contemplation, Anne Lister

The Piece Hall, Halifax, West Yorkshire

Anne Lister was introduced to me a while ago, before Sally Wainwright brought ‘Gentleman Jack’ to our television screens, as a possible project for a public sculpture. I quickly discovered from Lister’s diaries edited by Helena Whitbread and Jill Liddington’s perceptive analysis in Female Fortune: Land, Gender and Authority: the Anne Lister diaries 1833-36 that my subject was a fascinating, but daunting and multifaceted figure, who was intelligent, fearless and driven. She was not only a visionary, business woman and diarist, but also a linguist, musician and mountaineer. Passionate and charming on one hand, she was self-contained, steely and lacking warmth on the other. Above all, Anne Lister was ‘her own man’. Conveying this complexity in a portrait sculpture I found challenging, but rewarding. Diane Lawrenson

Diane Lawrenson, Contemplation, Anne Lister, The Piece Hall, Halifax, West Yorkshire (photo: Laurie Shannon).

Veronica Ryan

Custard Apple (Annonaceae), Breadfruit (Moraceae) and Soursop (Annonaceae)

Narrow Way Square, Hackney, London E8

Custard Apple (Annonaceae), Breadfruit (Moraceae) and Soursop (Annonaceae) by Veronica Ryan OBE, a 2022 Turner Prize nominee, was unveiled in Hackney E8 in 2021 and was Britain’s first public monument to the Windrush Generation. It comprises three casts of Caribbean fruits; a soursop tropical fruit in bronze, a large, petalled custard apple in Carrara marble, and a breadfruit with its honeycomb skin also in bronze, and draw on Ryan’s memories of seeing these fruits when visiting east London markets as a child, including Hackney’s Ridley Road Market.

Veronica Ryan OBE, Custard Apple (Annonaceae), Breadfruit (Moraceae), and Soursop (Annonaceae),, 2021. Courtesy: the artist, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, and Alison Jacques, London (photo: Andy Keate).

Eve Shepherd

The Betty Campbell Monument

Central Square, Cardiff, Wales

The Betty Campbell Monument is the first ever statue of a non-fictionalised woman to be erected in an outdoor public space in Wales. It honours Betty Campbell MBE, Wales’ first black headteacher and champion of equality and diversity, whose work as an education and community leader was recognised internationally.  The monument a remarkably accurate representation of its subject and maps out in sculpture her local community which she championed, as well as the people and surroundings that she drew inspiration from.  The small portraits under the tree canopy and the featured books play an important role in carrying on Betty Campbell’s legacy of educating future generations about black history.  The sculpture is a celebration of inclusivity, diversity and education, and of one woman’s aspiration and determination, not just for herself but for her community.

When I received this commission the statue of the transatlantic slave trader, Edward Colston was still atop his plinth. I saw the unfairness and disconnection of communities silenced and underrepresented within our public spaces.  I was determined with the help of Betty Campbell’s community, former school and family to create a monument which not only commemorated the international standing of this incredible woman and pioneer who fought to change the future for generations, but also continued her teaching by paying homage to black history and to the unique history of the working class community in which she was raised.

The sculpture’s base depicts a map of Tiger Bay where Betty lived and worked with models of many iconic buildings from Cardiff Docks. It shows Betty Campbell as a ‘Mother Tree’; her head and shoulders form the canopy under which 10 life-size primary school children of varying ethnicities, stand. As ‘Mother Trees’ do in nature, she is sheltering and nurturing her community as she did throughout her life. Eve Shepherd 

Eve Shepherd The Betty Campbell Monument Central Square, Cardiff, Wales (photo: Molyneux Associates).

Lee Simmons

The Tay Whale

Dundee Waterfront, Dundee, Scotland

The work, which is a celebration of the natural world, forms part of the redevelopment of the Waterside on the bank of the Tay in Dundee and was inspired by the town’s historic links to the whaling industry. The sculpture takes the form of the silhouette of a humpback whale in suspended flight. The 36m long whale canopy constructed from a marine-grade tubular stainless steel is suspended on three very refined columns which support it in flight. This covers a 650 square metre immersive, interactive digital ‘play park’ which plays recordings of whale song, a feature which is particularly haunting, poignant and elegiac in this context.

Lee Simmons, The Tay Whale, Dundee Waterfront, Dundee, Scotland (photo: Jonah Holden-Morrison).

Ben Twiston-Davies, sculptor

Simon Langsdale, letter carver

Ebenezer Howard,

Howardsgate, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire

Ebenezer Howard was a practical idealist.  He did not just dream of a better world: in pioneering the Garden City movement, and founding Garden Cities at both Letchworth and Welwyn, he personally brought about real social change.  Our statue commemorates his great achievements, but also aims to keep his activist spirit alive.  Spade in hand, he exhorts us, and the words around him, from William Blake’s Jerusalem, are his rallying cry:

I will not cease from mental strife,

Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,

Till we have built Jerusalem

In England’s green and pleasant land.

His spade rests on the word ‘sword’ in this quotation: crucially, he was a pacifist, at a time when other socialists in Europe were pursuing their aims by cruel and violent means.  He was heroic, and truly deserves his statue.   Ben Twiston-Davies

 

Ben Twiston-Davies, Ebenezer Howard, Howardsgate, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire.

Jackson Sculpture Conservation Ltd

Turning Forms by Barbara Hepworth (1903-1975)

The Marlborough Science Academy, Watling Street, St Albans, Hertfordshire

Turning Forms is a 2-metre-high abstract sculpture, constructed in reinforced concrete, made by Barbara Hepworth for the Festival of Britain in 1951. Its restoration by Jackson Sculpture Conservation was the culmination of over 10 years of research and collaboration, bringing together specialists in conservation science, modern sculpture and concrete conservation, The Hepworth Foundation and the 20th Century Society. Jackson Sculpture Conservation Ltd

Studio photo of Turning Forms after restoration (photo: Barney Hindle).

London Stone Conservation Ltd

King Alfred the Great, Roman 2nd century AD/18th century

Trinity Church Square Gardens, London SE1

In 2021 London Stone Conservation was commissioned to undertake conservation works to the statue of King Alfred, which had started to deteriorate. During the cleaning and analysis process it was discovered that the statue was partly Bathstone (dating back to the Roman era) and partly Coade stone.

The Bathstone is located at the lower portion of the statue, mainly in the area of the right leg and drapery. The Coade stone was fitted in several sections around the existing Bathstone, creating an almost seamless transition between the materials.

Over the decades, the statue had been poorly restored using cementitious mortars and modern fillers. We removed all of the cement filler, repaired or replaced missing sections with a lime putty mortar and washed sands at a ratio of 1:1.  On completion of the repair works, the statue was covered in a limewash shelter coat. London Stone Conservation Ltd

King Alfred the Great after conservation (photo: London Stone Conservation Ltd)

Rupert Harris Conservation Ltd

Bargate Lions, 18th century, attrib. John Cheere (1709-1787)

North side of the Bargate, High Street, Southampton

The eighteenth-century lead lions that flank Southampton’s Bargate had fallen into poor physical condition: damage in the form of splitting and cracking, impact damage from being climbed upon, and the failure of relatively poor quality repairs undertaken in 1891 combined to highlight the degraded condition of these unique sculptures. The conservation work returned the lions and their flags to sound structural condition with all structural damage repaired by lead welding, and the insertion of a stainless steel armature and security fixings. Non-structural surface damage in the form of minor blemishes in keeping with the lions’ age as well as historic graffiti was retained; their surfaces were then returned to their original painted finish, in a colour scheme identified by historical research and paint analysis. Rupert Harris Conservation Ltd

Bargate Lions after conservation with the conservation/reinstatement team (photo: © Rupert Harris Conservation Ltd).

The Awards are decided on by a Judging Panel made up of individuals (practitioners, academics, conservators, art critics and sculpture specialists) knowledgeable in the fields of public sculpture, fountains and conservation. Its decisions are final.

Any work of public sculpture, any fountain and any conservation project on a work of public sculpture or a fountain may be nominated for an award. Artists or conservators may enter their own work. Entries and Nominations must be received by noon on Saturday 16 April 2022. Late entries may exceptionally be accepted at the discretion of the Judging Panel.

The Judging Panel will consider each work put forward to assess whether it meets all of the eligibility criteria relevant to its category. If it does, the Panel will consider the relative merits of each against the judging criteria.

In assessing the works entered or nominated, the Judging Panel will rely on information provided to support the submission, other information available in the public domain and observations from site visits made by members of the Panel.

Entries and nominations must be made by or for the artist or designer, in the case of new works of public sculpture or fountains or, in the case of conservation, the conservator. In cases where the artistic concept or design was the product of collaboration between artists/designers, or where the client or craftsmen were involved, then the award may be shared. Similarly, the Conservation Award may be shared if it involved a multidisciplinary approach.

The nominated artists, designers or conservators must be aged 18 or over on the day the submission is made.

The entry or nominated work

  1. must be either:
    A work of sculpture - whether a new work or the conservation of an existing work.
    For the purposes of the Marsh Awards a work of public sculpture is defined as:-
    A work in the public realm, which may be representational and non-representational, freestanding or relief, commemorative or otherwise with which viewers can directly engage so that it enables sensory interaction (e.g. visual/ haptic/aural) with its surroundings in a three-dimensional way. This does not preclude mosaics, light or sound elements, but there must be an element of plasticity alongside the immersive such that the viewer can experience it in a tangible way. The work need not be confined to a plinth and can employ a limitless range of materials, scale and contexts.
    or
    A Fountain or Water Feature - whether a new work or the conservation of an existing work.
    For the purposes of the Marsh Awards a Fountain or Water Feature is defined as:-
    A work in the public realm which involves using moving or still water for aesthetic effect.

    In cases of doubt and for guidance, the Judging Panel shall have reference to the definitions of sculpture and fountains or water features above.

  2. must be sited in the UK, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands.
  3. must be in a public place or, if on private property, easily accessible to public view. It may be inside a building or outside but it must be in a location where there is general access (i.e. with no restriction to any particular group) at all times or on a regular and advertised basis and where any entrance fee is reasonable and not prohibitive (i.e. having the effect of significantly limiting the audience). Entries or nominations for works on private property are invited to consider the scope for maximising public access and, where appropriate, include details of any relevant initiatives.
  4. must be either:
    a. A new sculpture or fountain/water feature installed between 1 January 2021 and 31 December 2021 or
    b. The conservation of an existing work where the conservation work has been completed between 1 January 2021 and 31 December 2021.
  5. must be intended to be permanent (temporary installations are not included in this award but site-specific interventions – if permanent – are included).
  6. must be functioning in the way intended by the artist (if a fountain or a kinetic/sound sculpture).
  7. must be safe, i.e. in the sense that it is safe for the public to appreciate and interact with the piece to an extent that is reasonable. In the case of fountains and water features, safety shall be assessed by means of a test of the water condition on at least one occasion between the closing date and the awards ceremony.
  8. must have the necessary statutory permissions.
  9. must have the consent of the landowner. For works on private property, the entry or nomination should have the consent of the owner.
  10. must meet the Conservation Award Eligibility Criteria (applicable to conservation category only), see below.

The PSSA’s Marsh Awards reward artistic achievement and skill. They celebrate diversity in the world of sculpture, are inclusive and do not discriminate on the grounds of ethnicity, colour, background, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, disability or age. The Judging Panel will ensure equality when making their assessments.

The entry or nominated project

  1. must have been informed by a thorough assessment of the construction and condition of the piece as found as well as the context and conditions in which it will be displayed.
  2. must have been informed by a fair comparison of the options available taking account of the relative benefits, risks and impact of different treatments (including trial treatments, where necessary).
  3. must show that a convincing case was made for the approach taken which took due account of the following factors:
    a. The need to respect the intentions of the original artist/designer and/or craftsman;
    b. The need to maximise the retention of original fabric and finish, especially where the hand of the artist/craftsman is evident (e.g. letter-cutting, sculpted material);
    c. The need to respect the history of the piece in terms of considered and deliberate alterations (e.g. later inscriptions, additions) and the effects of ageing or weathering;
    d. The need for the repair/conservation to be lasting (though not to seek to avoid or replace the need for appropriate maintenance);
    e. The need for interventions to be minimal wherever possible;
    f. The appropriate balance to be struck between the above factors.
  4. must have properly involved the client, particularly where different options were considered.
  5. must have taken account of advice from relevant bodies and specialists where appropriate.
  6. must have been carried out according to these intentions.
  7. must have been adequately documented.

The entry or nominated work must demonstrate excellence against the following criteria:

Concept
For a new sculpture or fountain, the artistic intent or design should express:
- originality, especially (in the fountains category) in the use of water;
- convincing selection and command of materials;
- convincing understanding and presentation of scale;
- successful integration with and response to the setting, especially where the relationship of the work to its setting is an essential element of its concept and where the work has such an effect on its surroundings that its removal would permanently diminish that place;
- an idea or effect capable of sustaining enduring interest;
- ideas which inform or challenge our understanding and/or experience of the physical world.

For a conservation project, the philosophy or approach should be exemplary (with reference to the Conservation Eligibility Criteria ).

Realisation
The work as carried out should:
- be of a high standard of workmanship/craftsmanship;
- use appropriate quality materials;
- be suitably durable and and capable of being maintained.
- Fountains and water features, where necessary, should have a planned maintenance programme.

Impact on the discipline
Taken together, the concept and realisation should make a genuine and outstanding contribution to the:
- discipline and language of sculpture or fountain design at national level; or
- discipline of conservation, at national level, whether in the sense of practice or understanding or both.

Reception and engagement
The work or its conservation should enhance or have the potential to enhance public and community appreciation of sculpture, fountain design or conservation through creating awareness, interest, enjoyment and a positive visual impact. In the case of conservation projects, this might find expression in the original work once again having its intended aesthetic value and effect. Where the original work concerns contested heritage or a problematic subject, the project should address these issues in a thoughtful and considered way which reflects current understanding and opinion. Innovative or exemplary approaches will be taken into account. For further guidance please refer to the Marsh Awards Contested Heritage Statement below.

Wider benefits
The work or its conservation should achieve one or more of the following:
- enhance or positively transform its physical environment;
- enhance or positively transform its social context;
- have a regenerative or positive transformative effect by being a focus, landmark or an attraction in its own right.

The Marsh Awards Judging Panel is acutely sensitive to issues raised by contested heritage and is keen that solutions are found which address those issues appropriately and respectfully. We appreciate that a number of works of public sculpture may signify injustice and human misery and can prompt extremely painful responses. Custodians and owners of public sculpture have the opportunity to attempt to mitigate the distress felt about historic injustices and the way the past is portrayed. The Conservation Award for Public Sculpture and Fountains recognizes the need for works to be re-evaluated and re-presented intelligently. Works which the judges deem to be in the category of contested heritage will only be considered for the conservation award if they address these issues in a thoughtful and considered way which reflects current understanding and opinion. Innovative or exemplary approaches will be taken into account in the judging process.