Public Art Research Archive, Sheffield Hallam University, UK

We have just received the following from Jo Darke at the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association: (31.10.2005)

"First annual public sculpture prize: The Marsh Award

"The Public Monuments and Sculpture Association, supported by the Marsh Christian Trust, has selected as the first-year award winner Aldeburgh's memorial to Benjamin Britten, Scallop, set on an expanse of shingle shoreline in November 2003. It carries a quotation from Britten's opera Peter Grimes, composed in the town: 'I hear those voices that will not be drowned', and is the work of Maggi Hambling, better known as a painter - although her bronze commemorating Oscar Wilde is well known to London commuters at Charing Cross. The £1,500 prize will be presented by the Chairman of the Marsh Christian Trust, Brian Marsh, in a ceremony introduced by the PMSA Chairman Loyd Grossman on 24 November at the Courtauld Institute of Art. The work was one of eight short-listed pieces erected or restored within two years of September 2005. Nominations reveal a striking vitality in the nation's public sculpture, from Sidmouth to Edinburgh.

"Fabricated by Aldeburgh craftsmen Sam and Dennis Pegg, the sculpture was funded by donations from private individuals and various charitable trusts and was co-ordinated by the Adnams Charity. The sculpture at first proved fiercely controversial, but has since attracted a strong and appreciative following. The Award Chairman and panellist, and PMSA founder-member Ian Leith, commented: 'Appropriately for a piece with an aesthetic as well as a commemorative function, the result is both natural and modern. The substantial steel members, four metres high, provide a complex three-dimensional effect quite different from that of a simple up-scaled scallop shell'. Other award panellists are MCT representative David Charlesworth, Award Administrator Emma Bartlett and PMSA CEO Jo Darke. This year's Roving Panellist is the writer and critic Davina Thackara.

"Nominations are invited from the PMSA membership, which has shared- or fellow-membership with the Royal British Society of Sculptors, Landscape and Arts Network, Art and Architecture group, Fountain Society and others. Plans for 2005-6 include extension of eligibility for making nominations. Criteria
for eligibility of works include location in the UK; whether the work enhances public appreciation of outdoor sculpture; the quality of the work; its visual impact on its locality; and its historical or social significance to the neighbourhood - or further afield. One of this year's main contenders was a restoration: Rodin's Burghers of Calais, at Westminster."

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Last updated 24 August, 2005