Final sculpture design selected for Lerwick’s harbour front

A few days before Christmas last year, artist Jo Chapman presented three potential sculpture designs for Lerwick’s waterfront to the four business partners who have commissioned the work. This presentation of ideas was the culmination of the artist’s ten week residency in Shetland. The design ideas were influenced by a series of workshops, meetings, events, and the sharing of stories, photos and memories by the many people Jo met during her stay here. From these meetings, a group of Community Advisers was formed who had input into the choice of the final design. This part of the project is documented in the Pelagic Sculpture Project’s current ‘Fish Van Collection’ exhibition at Bonhoga Gallery which can be viewed until mid‐April.

The design that was selected by LHD, Lerwick Port Authority, Shetland Catch and the Shetland Fish Producers’ Organisation is called ‘Da Lightsome Buoy’ and is a celebration of the role the pelagic fishing industry plays in Shetland life. The proposed artwork is based on a giant fishing buoy which will feature text and imagery captured by the artist during her conversations and meetings with members of the community. The pelagic sculpture project is supported by sponsorship from the four businesses in association with Shetland Arts, with match funding from Arts & Business Scotland through their New Arts Sponsorship Grants Scheme. It is hoped that the artwork will be installed by late summer 2016, subject to the relevant permissions being in place.

Arts & Business Scotland Chief Executive, David Watt said: “The Pelagic Sculpture Project has the community at its heart so it’s great to hear the final design encapsulates this with the incorporation of the community’s influence on the artist in the artwork. We’re delighted the project is making such good progress and look forward to seeing the finished design later in the year.”

Sandra Laurenson, of Lerwick’s Port Authority, stated, “The commissioning partners are delighted to have reached this point in the project and are looking forward to continuing working with Jo Chapman over this next phase of the fabrication and installation of the sculpture.”

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