Sunday, 8 June 2014

If you go down to the park today, you're in for a big surprise!

Sculptures in Queen's Park

First it was legs in the ponds, then it was all things bell-related. Today, it is remembrance!

For the last couple of years the Loughborough In Bloom initiative has commissioned sculptures to adorn the pond area of Queen's Park, outside the Charnwood Museum.

In Queen's Park in 2012 we saw some imaginative legs, partially submerged in the ponds, representing synchronised swimmers, for this was the year that Britain hosted the Olympic Games. These three, two metre high sculptures made from Jesmonite and finished in masonry paint, were created by Loughborough University students, Lucy Buzzacott, Mike Jones and Abi Ross. Entitled "Synch or Swim" and representing grace, artistry and athleticism, they were unveiled on 21st June 2012. Once the sculptures had been in-situ for a year, they were, for quite some time, kept in the park warden's area, and made an interesting end to a guided walk entitled "Loughborough's hidden gems"! In 2014, they again made the news as they were featured in one of the Royal Horticultural Society's major displays at the RHS Flower Show in Cardiff from April 11-13, 2014. What an accolade.

The Great Paul bell casing

In 2013 the Great Paul bell case was mounted on a permanent plinth outside the museum, on the edge of the pond, and to complement this, Ian Tricker, a Loughborough University student, created three bell-related sculptures. At 6 feet tall, these sculptures formed a group entitled Sound of Time, the individual ones being called: Rings True (a group of tuning forks), The Quiet Quartet (a nest of bells) and A Spoken Word A Heard Sound (a half-bell and clapper which was engraved with poems on the theme of bells).

This year, 2014, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, the three sculptures created by Amelia Seren Roberts, a Loughborough University student, represent the different stages of mourning, beginning with helplessness, through confusion and ultimately to acceptance.

The sculptures have actually been in place in Queen's Park for a little while, and each time I've gone into the park I've been intrigued by the shrouded shapes stretching skyward. I was thrilled that by an amazing stroke of luck I was able to be present at the unveiling of Amelia's works!

The speeches
 After a short introduction by the Mayor, Councillor Paul Day, the Chairman of the Loughborough In Bloom Board gave us the background to the sculpture initiative, and heartily congratulated Amelia on her achievements. He was followed by Amelia's tutor from the university, Peter Beacham, who thanked Amelia and all those involved in the project.

Thence to the unveiling! There were a lot of people present, and everyone of them seemed to have a camera and wanted to take pictures, so it was a little difficult for me to take half-way decent pictures, so I've picked out those that I think best represent the ceremony!

Like snakes, these sculptures shed their skins and left them behind.

Each sculpture is accompanied by an information board.

Three-dimensional sculptures with two different finishes.

Confusion (and Amelia)

Acceptance (with Great Paul bell case behind)



So, that's three great years of wonderful sculptures in Queen's Park. I'm wondering what earth will be produced for 2015, but in the meantime I'm going to enjoy the spectacle of these remembrance works. Gems certainly, but certainly not hidden!!

Swimming in the park warden's area!

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