Cornish artist is on our doorstep with sculptures

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Everyday life in South Holland is to be captured in sculptures to be unveiled in Spalding town centre later this year.

Details of a Spalding Trail, sculptures based on real people living and working in the town, were revealed at a meeting hosted by the Transported arts group at the South Holland Centre on Tuesday.

The sculptures, to be produced by Cornish artist Joseph Hillier, have been jointly commissioned by Transported in partnership with Spalding and District Civic Society, South Holland District Council, schools and Spalding town centre manager Dennis Hannant.

Nick Jones, programme director for Transported, said: “Spalding is in a very good place where it is lucky enough to have a motivated group of local people who are championing an ambitious programme to create public artwork for the town.

“The arts have the capacity to bring about meaningful and powerful change which this project taps into by asking the question ‘what makes a place special to those who live there?”

Mr Hillier was chosen to produce the artwork after a selection process where artists were invited to put forward their proposals for a piece of art that would both capture and celebrate the town’s market history.

A Civic Society spokesman added: “Working in partnership with Transported, this is the society’s first commission in an ambitious project to celebrate Spalding’s historic market with a group of public artworks in the town centre.

“This is aimed at increasing the town’s attractiveness for residents and visitors alike, building on our continuing blue plaque scheme which has so far recognised (Swiss philosopher) Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Frank Pick (former head of London Underground), historian Peter Connolly and musician Jimi Hendrix.”

Mr Hillier is holding an artist’s sitting at Ayscoughfee Hall Museum on September 25 and 26 after which people might even be represented in the final sculptures.

“It’s a great honour to be chosen to make a series of small pieces of sculpture that will reflect the diversity of cultures and activities that go on around Spalding and will be here long after I’ve gone,” Mr Hillier said.

Mr Hannant added: “People like Joseph Hillier enrich our lives and I can only hope that what he’ll produce will enhance Spalding and give the town even more of an originality and personality.

“It will also give people a focus and encourage them to look after their environment.”