Ceremonial unveiling of Public Art
Pictured (left to right): Cllr Richard Wright, Sleaford REP Community Liaison Panel; Cllr Geoff Hazelwood, NKDC Executive Board Member; Michael Condron, Artist; Pupils from Kirkby La Thorpe School; Katie Bartle, Headteacher of Kirkby La Thorpe School.
Leader of NKDC Cllr Marion Brighton OBE recently led the official unveiling of the new piece of public art outside the entrance to renewable energy plant on Boston Road. Cllr Brighton was joined by over fifty guests including artist Michael Condron, Cllr Richard Wright of the Sleaford REP Community Liaison Panel, 1Life, artsNK, and special guests the pupils and teachers from Kirkby La Thorpe Primary School.
The piece of art was funded as part of the Wellbeing Agreement between NKDC and Sleaford REP and was overseen by the Sleaford REP Community Liaison Panel and artsNK. The tendering process began in October 2013 and artists from across the UK pitched to undertake the work. The successful artist was Michael Condron who produced an initial model before undertaking a series of community workshops in Sleaford and at Kirkby La Thorpe Primary School. He then used the ideas of the public and pupils to insert significant details into the sculpture which close up includes tractor tyres and even a worm.
Mike Harrison, Sleaford REP Communications Manager said:
‘North Kesteven District Council has a long and proud history of showcasing public art and was forthright in its desire to include a piece at the Plant. We were a bit cautious of what the piece would look like because it is situated in such a prominent position at the entrance to the Plant, and will be for years to come.
However, what we have is an iconic piece which is like no other. We are extremely impressed by the piece and how hard Michael Condron has worked to incorporate the ideas of the local community in such intimate detail. We would encourage people to come and view the sculpture up close once we have undertaken further landscaping works in the coming months.’
Mrs Brighton said that in addition to the many other benefits for Sleaford and Kirkby la Thorpe from the plant’s community wellbeing undertaking, the sculpture was particularly impressive.
“This magnificent sculpture, which so wonderfully illustrates the process of extracting energy from straw and encapsulates the sustainable, economic and environmental benefits of this particular biomass project, will be such as asset. Like the public art we have championed all across the District, it brings something, distinct, unique and quite special to the communities involved and I feel we should all be proud of that.”
Much like the energy plant itself, it is a tremendous of engineering as much as anything and I am sure that it will prove to be very inspiring.”
“In time it will form a part of a public arts trail linking the many pieces of public and community art in Sleaford, another part of Sleaford REP’s community undertaking.”
Notes to editors:
Michael Condron is a UK based artist whose practice is founded on the creation of larger-than-life sculpture. Elegant and dynamic, witty and massive; his pieces employ scale and detail to create landmark installations which belong and respond to their environment.
Condron graduated from St Martins College in 1995, and his first monumental artwork The Martian was installed in 1998. He has since completed major commissions in diverse settings, and is currently working on an atrium artwork for the new Birmingham Dental Hospital.