Argyll and Bute Council’s regeneration project in Helensburgh includes an artwork element which will see 15 pieces of art displayed on plinths in the newly renovated Colquhoun Square.
Five of the plinths are currently being fabricated and are due for installation in the autumn. These are the Lily Springs bottle, from the Lily Springs Spring House; four wee shoes, miniature crafted shoes from the town’s first shoemaker; a Stooky Bill puppet used by John Logie Baird for the first ever transmitted televised image in 1926; Comet - Bell’s Bell, a replica of the original bell salvaged from the wreck of the Comet in 1820 and the Butter Pats, which were used to shape and serve butter in the Buffet Café.
The other ten plinths will be sourced through a community-led and open submission process. The community led process is well underway, with one piece already approved by the selection panel of Councillors Ellen Morton, Gary Mulvaney and Richard Trail. Another three, or possibly four, will be going to the next panel meeting in August.
Bronze plaques that relate to the historic 1845 text and town maps etchings are currently being produced and are also due for installation in September.
Stepping stones along the grass area of the esplanade featuring the most popular children’s names in Helensburgh over the years have been produced and installed.
Helensburgh-based Councillor Ellen Morton, the council’s Policy Lead for Special Projects, said of the artwork: ‘’This is a key part of the project - it gets the local community really involved and gives them a chance to have their artwork permanently on display in the busy town centre.
‘’It’s great to have so many local groups involved, from Hermitage Academy pupils to Helensburgh Heritage.
‘’We are also commissioning a website - Helensburgh in 100 objects - and a design guide, both of which are well underway.
‘’I’m looking forward to the next meeting of the selection panel where we will see new pieces for the plinths, a draft design guide and a website demonstration.
‘’The artists are also looking to create a flotilla arrangement with the decorative heads from the old Comet lighting columns which were greatly admired by local residents. The council retained the valuable lighting heads in order to reuse them however, the columns themselves were of no value as they were unsuitable for modern lighting.
‘’Hopefully this arrangement will attract people from the esplanade up in to the square, which is one of the key aims of the wider project.’’
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