Veronica Ryan OBE, Custard Apple (Annonaceae), Breadfruit (Moraceae) and Soursop (Annonaceae), Narrow Way Square, Hackney, London.
Veronica Ryan declared that she was ‘absolutely thrilled at this brilliant news!’ on winning the 2022 PSSA Marsh Award for Excellence in Public Sculpture with her landmark Windrush commission Custard Apple (Annonaceae), Breadfruit (Moraceae) and Soursop (Annonaceae) in Narrow Way Square, Hackney. Unveiled in 2021 to coincide with Black History Month, this sculpture which was selected as the winner by the PSSA Marsh Awards judging panel from nine shortlisted works, was Britain’s first public monument to commemorate the Windrush Generation. It comprises three Caribbean fruits; a soursop tropical fruit in bronze, a large, finely carved petalled custard apple in Carrara marble, and a breadfruit with its honeycomb skin in bronze. The beautifully detailed work references narratives of migration and movement and draws on the artist’s memories of seeing these fruits when visiting east London markets as a child, including Hackney’s Ridley Road Market.
Rupert Harris Conservation Ltd, Bargate Lions attrib. John Cheere (1709-1787), North side of the Bargate, High Street, Southampton.
The conservation award was hotly contested this year with three very different but particularly interesting projects. Rupert Harris Conservation, who have just celebrated 40 years in the profession, were the winners with their skilful conservation of the eighteenth-century lead Bargate Lions, which had suffered considerable damage through the centuries. Southampton County Council were closely involved with the project and the decision was made to return the lions’ painted surface which had been lost over the years, so that they now blend beautifully with the stonework of their background as originally intended.
On receiving the award Rupert Harris said that ‘It was a privilege to work on these important historic objects on behalf of Southampton City Council, and we are honoured to receive such a prestigious award.’
The runners up in this category were Jackson Sculpture Conservation for their excellent work on the conservation of Barbara Hepworth’s Turning Forms at The Marlborough Science Academy, Watling Street, St Albans in Hertfordshire and London Stone Conservation for their fascinating work on King Alfred the Great in Trinity Church Square Gardens, London, an intriguing statue which combines Roman spolia of the second century AD with late eighteenth/early nineteenth-century Coade stone.
Eve Shepherd’s The Betty Campbell Monument, Central Square, Cardiff won the 2022 public vote. A well-researched and sympathetic work, this bronze conveys the magic of learning which was central to Betty Campbell’s ethos and has engaged the local community and those beyond with its insight into her character. Betty Campbell MBE (1934-2017), a local schoolteacher, became a figurehead for education and the teaching of Black history as well as Britain’s first black headmistress.
On winning the public vote the sculptor, Eve Shepherd said, ‘ I am truly honoured that The Betty Campbell Monument has won the Public vote! Who, in my opinion, is better qualified to judge sculptures made for public spaces, than the public themselves!
A public sculpture depicting not only women, but the black community has been long overdue and I’m proud of the Monumental Welsh Women’s Committee, Betty Campbell’s family, the people of Cardiff and the Black community for entrusting me to represent this sculpture and an incredible woman.
Thank goodness that the world is turning and little girls and non-white children can now proudly see depictions of people like themselves celebrated within the cities they grow up in.
Thank you to all who took the time out of their busy lives to vote for The Betty Campbell Monument.’
The runners up in the Public Vote were Diane Lawrenson for her fine bronze portrait sculpture of the nineteenth-century lesbian, Anne Lister, at the Piece Hall in Halifax and Ben Twiston-Davies for his perceptive statue of Ebenezer Howard, pioneer of the Garden City movement, at Welwyn in Hertfordshire, one of the garden cities founded by Howard.
Alex Chinneck, A Spring in your Step, Circus Street, Brighton, Sussex.
Alexandre da Cunha, Sunset, Sunrise, Sunset, Battersea Power Station Underground Station, London SW11.
Laurence Edwards, A Rich Seam, Print Office Street, Doncaster, West Yorkshire.
Laurence Edwards, Yoxman, Cockfield Hall, Yoxford, Suffolk.
Diane Lawrenson, Contemplation, Anne Lister, The Piece Hall, Halifax, West Yorkshire .
Veronica Ryan, Custard Apple (Annonaceae), Breadfruit (Moraceae) and Soursop (Annonaceae), Narrow Way Square, Hackney, London E8.
Eve Shepherd, The Betty Campbell Monument, Central Square, Cardiff, Wales.
Lee SimmonsThe Tay Whale, Dundee Waterfront, Dundee, Scotland.
Ben Twiston-Davies, Ebenezer Howard, Howardsgate, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire.
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.