Hartlepool Coastal Plinth - Seaton Carew

Proposal 1

Artist opportunity
Artist Opportunity

We have chosen to make this artwork in bronze, and have done so for several reasons.  Firstly, for bronze’s resplendent and highly tactile qualities; it is a material that invites hands to touch and explore, and that reflects the light in a particularly subtle and engaging manner.

With this in mind, we began to imagine an organic, living “sea-stone” to link the water to the earth and to ourselves. To link ocean, sky, earth and the organic fire that burns within each living body.  The sculpture will be conformed by one single piece of modelled bronze, and will take the form of a sea creature leaping; half in air, half in water.  It will combine aspects of piscine, amphibian and mammalian morphology; representing the diversity of the creatures that inhabit the oceans, and the biological progression that links aquatic and terrestrial life-forms.  Its mouth, eye, and exterior surfaces will be exquisitely modelled and will be irresistible to adults and children alike.  The sculpture will invite us to get to know it through sight, touch, and the sound of ringing bronze as we tap and explore its surfaces.  The piece will be oriented towards the eastern sea-horizon, and through its eye we will be able to stand on tiptoes or be lifted up to spy the sea.  At sunrise the sun will shine directly through the eye, in a nod to the solstitial nature of the ritual and agricultural practices of our ancestors, as well as the continued importance of the turning of seasons in the lives of all who live off the land and the sea.

A fissure cut into the bronze will rend the piece in two, as if split by lightning, letting the sun shine clean through and illuminating it from within.