Following a crowdfunding campaign which raised £12,000, Hove’s Civic Society have unveiled the first sculpture for their plinth.
‘Constellation’ by Johnathon Wright lets residents decide which symbols of Brighton and Hove should feature on it. Those chosen currently include a windmill and a beach hut. Elements of a ship’s compass and a film camera lens are also incorporated.
The piece, which features 50cm tall icons, is one of three final artworks chosen from the Civic Society’s competition in 2015. It was created using an impressive mix of techniques including 3D printing and gilding.
The outer space-inspired sculpture stands at two and a half metres tall and nearly three metres wide. Set on a gimbal, it will move slightly according to environmental conditions, casting beautiful and ever-changing shadows on the promenade.
‘Constellation’ will sit proudly on the plinth for 12-18 months before moving to a permanent home in the city.
Jonathan Wright said: “The idea for the Hove Plinth is to create a work that is part-made by the local inhabitants and part-made by the location itself. The role of the artist in this project is to provide a basic structure to focus the work as a whole and to guide it to fruition. The work is conceived by the public and engineered by the artist.
“The notion of a constellation, a model of the planetary system, an oversized ‘Orrery’ is a perfect fit for the location. We are encouraged to look upward, consider star gazing, a sense of the universe and the place we hold in the world. The installation will involve the local community, Brighton & Hove Museums and the University of Brighton. There is therefore a widening of the audience who are normally involved in the process of delivering artwork in the public realm.
“The work extends beyond its physical presence and becomes a point of reference that means many things to many people. The objects become magical, infused with meaning; a local constellation.”
The Hove Plinth Project, which has received backing from celebrity chef Prue Leith, will feature two more artworks in the near future. One of these will be ‘Flight of the Langoustines’ by Pierre Diamantopoulo (pictured below).