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Roundabout sculpture design to be revealed during live clay modelling session

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The final design of Tamworth’s iconic new roundabout sculpture will be revealed to the people of Tamworth next week during a live clay modelling session by award-winning artist, Luke Perry.

Members of the public will be able to watch Luke creating a scale model of his monument design live in front of Tamworth Town Hall in Market Street on Tuesday February 21, from 10am.

As well as seeing the design come to life for the first time, adults and children will also be invited to get involved by asking questions and having a play with the clay.

The much-anticipated design has been created following consultations with more than 100 people who spoke to Luke about what they are most proud of about Tamworth as a town.

He has previously revealed the sculpture will be a ‘big and iconic’ figurative piece which reflects the town’s Saxon history, but with an ‘alternative, modern twist’ that places it firmly in the 21st century.

The landmark sculpture will be erected on the Offa Drive/Saxon Drive roundabout outside Tamworth Railway Station where it will greet visitors to the town as they step off the train.

It will be built out of steel, but reflecting the neo-classical style typical of well-known historical Tamworth company, Gibbs and Canning Ltd, which was widely renowned for its manufacture of architectural terracotta.

Luke said: “This will be a first for me as I’ve never created art in front of people in this way before, but I thought if I’m making a model anyway I may as well do it in the community where people can witness the design they helped to inform, coming to life.
“As well as being a live demonstration of art, this will also be the first reveal of what the artwork is going to be and what form it will take.

“Overall, my idea is quite ambitious engineering wise, but I have spoken to a structural engineer to make sure it’s buildable. Bringing a design to life in clay allows you to see it from all angles and postures. It should be quite true to the final design, but the actual monument will have a bit of colour.”

Luke also revealed that despite the pressure of the live demonstration, he is not nervous about showing his design to the people of Tamworth for the first time.
“It’s impossible to please everybody and there will undoubtedly be some who feel another subject matter would have been better, but I’m pretty confident that this is going to be something that people will really get behind,” he said.
“It’s very much about Tamworth and immediately identifiable with Tamworth. I really listened to what people wanted and am confident I have delivered on that.”

The scale model will stand around 60-70cm tall and is expected to take a couple of hours to create. It will then be placed inside the former Peel coffee shop adjacent to the Sir Robert Peel statue where it will be on display until March 7.

The ‘Roundabout Art’ project is one element of the Arts in Unusual Spaces initiative, funded by Arts Council England, which will see art in all its forms popping up in a variety of locations across the borough.
The sculpture is being funded jointly by Tamworth Borough Council, Arts Council England and Tamworth Gateways Project – a partnership between Staffordshire County Council and Tamworth Borough Council.

Cllr Joy Goodall, Cabinet member for Environment & Culture, said: “The live model making is such an exciting way for the final design to be revealed. It will be amazing for people to see it being brought to life at the heart of the community it is designed to represent. As it’s half term next week I hope people take their children along to watch and get involved in the process too. I can’t wait to see the completed model.”

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