Scottish Seabird Centre unveils designs for major new sculptures

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NATIONALLY renowned and award-winning artists Kenny Hunter and Diane Maclean have been unveiled as the winners of a high profile competition to design new sculptures in North Berwick.

The pieces will act as an entrance to the town’s Anchor Green, which is next to the Scottish Seabird Centre.

The Gateway Project, a collaborative venture with East Lothian Council’s Arts Service, was launched in February 2011 and invited original submissions from artists across the UK to establish a strong sense of place and belonging while reflecting the unique heritage and environment of the historic area around the Seabird Centre.

Diane’s piece is inspired by a nearby whalebone arch

Two very different designs have been selected out of the 30 that were submitted: three finalists were shortlisted and a judging panel and public vote decided on the winning designs following a closely fought contest.

The judging panel consisted of Graeme Todd from Polarcap Artistic Consultants; Hew Dalrymple, trustee of the Scottish Seabird Centre; Lesley Smith, from East Lothian Council’s Arts Service and Tom Brock OBE, Chief Executive of the Scottish Seabird Centre.

The Centre is now working closely with Kenny and Diane on their winning submissions to create bespoke pieces of art that could be unveiled later in 2012 (the Year of Creative Scotland) if funding can be secured: the cost of each work of art is estimated at £30k.

The Watcher is Kenny’s design

Kenny’s life-sized metal figure, looking through binoculars out to the Bass Rock, would become an iconic landmark on the main approach to the award-winning Scottish Seabird Centre. Diane’s metal arch would create a very impressive gateway to Anchor Green and the Centre from the town’s historic harbour and vice versa.

Tom Brock OBE, Chief Executive of the Scottish Seabird Centre, said: “The Gateway Project has surpassed all expectations with an exceptionally high standard of entry. Our two winning designs are truly outstanding. The public interest and support for this innovative project has been fantastic.

“We have really enjoyed working with each award-winning artist, who both have very different styles, and we sincerely hope that we can raise the necessary funding to ensure that we can create a dramatic and inspiring welcome for the many visitors to this high profile and historic site for many years to come.”

Kenny Hunter said: “Coming originally from Musselburgh, it’s great to be working on an artwork for a town I know so well. ‘The Watcher’ is a sculpted figure, with the binoculars looking out to the Bass Rock, representing those with an interest in the amazing birdlife of North Berwick; he is dressed in outdoor wear and there is an anticipation of his encounter with the gannet colony – he is with us in a physical sense but is also projecting himself out into nature and out into wildness.”

Diane Maclean adds: “Working with the Seabird Centre has been a rewarding experience and it’s fantastic to see the possibility of my design becoming a reality. My Gothic arch design is reflected by the arch in the Auld Kirk and in the whalebone arch on top of North Berwick Law, a pivotal part of the town’s landscape, while reflecting the wonder of the 150,000 gannets that inhabit the world-famous Bass Rock. The local community and the natural world are central to the Seabird Centre’s focus and both are embodied in my sculpture.”

 

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