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Sculptor’s designs based on stories from residents in showcase at Gateway site
STRANGE stories and historical tales have been encompassed in an artist’s ideas for sculptures at the Weymouth Gateway site.
Andy Kirkby, from Moreton, has been busy working on a series of ‘concept designs’, which will be showcased to the public tomorrow evening.
He has asked residents to submit interesting local stories they would like to see immortalised in art.
From a dog that caught a bus by itself every day to Weymouth Beach, to a farmer who stopped traffic on Dorchester Road so his cows could cross, Mr Kirkby has been inundated with ideas.
He said: “The request for stories and reminiscences about the Gateway site and the wider Weymouth area has been truly varied. I have attempted to feed aspects of these into all of the works.
“I am proposing that one of the sculptures will include an illustrated composition element, encompassing the variety of stories supplied. I’ll be looking to work with a local illustrator on the development of this piece.
“Thanks to all who have contributed.”
Borough councillor Ian Bruce, spokesman for tourism and culture, said: “I am really excited about seeing Andy’s designs and so pleased everything has been running so well to time. I hope lots of people will join us tomorrow.”
The new installations at the Gateway site are being funded by New Look with help from Sainsbury’s. Residents can find Andy’s designs at the Famous Old Spa pub on Dorchester Road from 5pm until 7pm tomorrow.
Mr Kirby will continue to work on his designs until late April and the finished artworks are due to be installed by early 2014.
WORK TO GO ON DISPLAY
The commission to design and create a new scheme of public art for the Weymouth Gateway site on Mercery Road was advertised in November, 2012.
Andy fought off tough competition from 38 other UK and international artists, with five being shortlisted to attend interviews at New Look’s offices on Mercery Road. Andy recently created the Sea Road Public Art Trail in Boscombe.
The Weymouth art will be situated at the Mercery Road site, which includes a new Sainsbury’s store, Whitbread restaurant and hotel, and New Look Support Centre.
A selection of stories that have been sent to Andy include:
‘Brummy fortnight’ – Vividly remembered by one contributor as when the factories in Birmingham would shut for two weeks in the summer and holidaymakers would catch the train to Weymouth
The day the Ritz Theatre burnt down – Hundreds rushed to the seafront to witness the demise of the Victorian building, which was where the Pavilion is now
Mythical tales of the phantom ‘Colepexy’ – It is said the goblin horse with flaming red eyes roams the Dorset downs looking for travellers to lead astray
Dolphins that chased torpedoes, which were being tested in Weymouth Bay