Visiting The Dream

img_dream01Theres been a lot of moaning locally in the papers and on the tv about this huge art sculpture which has been erected in my hometown.

Its built on a former mining colliery and will be featured on a Channel 4 program called ‘The Big Art Project’.

Local miners wanted to commemorate the former pit as a local landmark so they set about finding an artist who could rise to the challenge.

The Dream was created by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa, after talking to miners he came up with the idea for the sculpture which is now part of the St Helens skyline.

Today we walked to the park which is home to the new sculpture with our dog to see for ourselves what all the fuss was about and also to see what we thought about the latest addition to the town.

My first impression was, why is the girl facing away from the town and her people? Shouldnt she be facing the opposite direction so that she can look out over the people of St Helens?

Its almost like she is snubbing the people who live there.

Obviously the reason for positioning her so is for the benefit of the motorists on the nearby motorway so that they can catch a glimpse as they speed past at 75 miles per hour. Hardly the time and place to appreciate a piece of art?

Secondly, why didnt they go for a local artist for the sculpture? And why wasnt the sculpture created and erected by a local company and thus bringing work to the local people?

Work hasnt finished on the sculpture yet as the lines on the face are still visible and need to be filled in – they are using silicone sealant would you believe!

As we walked towards the park we could see the sculpture in the distant calling to us, the white stone is very ethereal and literally shines in the daylight, as we approached nearer I almost mistook the head for a cloud in the sky because it was so luminesence and white!

I cant believe the mess they have made of the park to create this sculpture, all of the footpaths have been destroyed. So much for making something for the local community.

I didnt take my camera with me today so I went googling when I got home and found this gallery on flickr of some awesome photos showing you the work in progress of the sculpture:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/photonutter/sets/72157616378351749/

More info about this piece of art can be found on the foll0wing links:

http://www.bigartsthelens.com/information/dream-big-art-sthelens/

http://blogs.mirror.co.uk/the-ticket/2009/04/art-st-helens-dream-sculpture.html

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2 thoughts on “Visiting The Dream

  1. I was fascinated by the construction method. You have to remember that most public art meets with frowns, especially when it is out of the comfort zone. We had a case like that in my town some years ago. After a while everybody got used to it and when tourists couldn’t wait to have their picture taken with it we decided that it was a good thing after all.
    Also, in my country miners and owners wouldn’t think of voluntarily restoring a mining site. let alone put art anywhere near it. They just walk away and leave devastation, so you’re ahead of the game!!

  2. I’ve put some more shots here, still ongoing.

    Two Up

    Think she’s positioned due south to make the most of shadows falling across her face. At the moment the workers are removing the foam core fillers, and infilling the seams with a mix of croncrete and marble to match the existing blocks.

    They did have a capping off ceremony, that week, but the final piece didn’t quite fit correctly, so I’ll be waiting for another opportunity for that.

    I also believe there are plans to remodel the pathways once work is completed with lighting and the turf has been relaid.

    Graham.

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