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News Archive > General > Sculptor thinks big

Sculptor thinks big

By Paul Williams 21st October 2009

The man who helped plant the Seed at Eden could be about to build another iconic sculpture in Cornwall — one that would rival rival The Angel of the North at Gateshead, writes Paul Williams.
Sculptor Simon Thomas first designed a 65 foot high Celtic Cross for a Millenium Project in 1999. Sadly, the project was beset with planning problems, and councillors at the porposed site in Saltash had to shelve the project.
A decade later, the futuristic structure could be resurrected thanks to a £450,000 Lottery grant. The proposed structure, which would be visible to all visitors entering and leaving Cornwall, is one of three projects on the Lottery Community Spaces Fund short list.
The centre piece of the project would be the massive Celtic Cross, which will be clad in Cornish Tin, to reflect the county’s mining heritage.

Speaking at his studio just outside Fowey, Mr Thomas (below) said: "Like a lot of my work, the cross is the combination of science and nature. I envisaged it  as an exponential piece, and the final finish will reflect that.
“It is a massive piece of work and will rival iconic structures around the world. In England we have the Angel of the North in Gateshead, Paris has the Eiffel Tower and so on.
"In fact, it was Gustave Eiffel's work on the Statue of Liberty that provided early inspiration. My Cross faces similar problems of mechanical stresses. At the moment the frame could be built of steel and then faced in Copper, or the frame could be cast in concrete , either on site or at a local factory.

“The structure has to be able to withstand incredible forces, already calculations have been done for winds up to 150 mph.
"It's an incredibly exciting project that will not only put Cornwall on the map but will also provide local work as well as bringing Lottery money into the county.
"Tim Smit has given the project his full backing, as has Kevin Lavery, Chief Executive of Cornwall Council."

Since graduating from the Royal College of Art in 1988, Mr Turner has completed numerous public and private sculpture commissions, exhibiting work both in the UK and abroad.
Last year, he helped his great friend and fellow sculptor Peter Randall Page realise The Seed. The complicated structure, honed from a single Granite block weighing in at 160 tonnes, was commissioned by the Eden Project. Playing down his contribution, it was Simon's expertise that saw him fashioning the spheres that pepper the outside of the sculpture — an incredibly difficult and precise task.

By Paul Williams 21st October 2009

Angela Evans 5th December 2009 15:07
I am trying to trace Paul Williams the sculptor who used to live in Nottingham, then moved to Leeds - that wouldn´t be you would it? Please contact urgently if it is
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