Later next month a new piece of artwork is set to be installed at Crest Nicholson’s Bath Riverside development and Bath Newseum has been lucky enough to see the start of its construction and talk to the artist involved.
The sculpture – Maid of the Bridge – has been designed by Larkhall-based artist Anna Gillespie – in collaboration with Bath-based engineering firm Buro Happold – and is being put together – using metal retained during the refirbishment of the city’s own suspended crossing – Victoria Bridge.
Across the road from Anna’s studio, Ironart of Bath has forged the sculpture which is now being assembled and is due to be unveiled towards the end of October on Elizabeth Parade which overlooks the new riverside park in this rapidly changing and re-energised part of the city.
I called in to the forge to meet up with Anna and fellow local artist Peter Dickinson who oversees the Bath Riverside art strategy on behalf of Crest Nicholson.
Peter told me the developers considered art to be an important part of what they were doing and wanted to ‘showcase the talents of local artists and also hark back to the heritage of the former industrial site and the city.’
The new work has already been assembled at Ironworks to give some idea of its shape but then sent off for expert painting and will now be slowly constructed and bolted together for real.
I joined Anna, Peter and Andy Thearle from Ironart in hearing architectural metalworker James Cuthbertson explain more about a job on what must be a unique job to have on their books.
Anna won’t have far to go to keep a check on progress as her studio is just up the road. She is what you would most certainly call a contemporary British figurative sculptor with a love for showing humanity’s immersion in nature and the elements. So what was the inspiration for this rather unusual commission.
We’ll keep you updated on the construction of the Maid of the Bridge and give you a definite date for her unveiling – when we get it.