ST. HELENS.- The final piece of Dream, a landmark new sculpture, was lowered into place on the site of a former coal mine in St.Helens, next to a busy motorway where it will be seen by millions of motorists each year.
The spectacular 20 metre-high sculpture, by internationally renowned artist Jaume Plensa, is situated on the site of the former Sutton Manor Colliery in St.Helens, midway between Liverpool and Manchester. A celebratory, forward-looking symbol of both St.Helens' rich mining heritage and its more recent post-industrial transformation, Dream will be highly visible to the 100,000 people who drive past the site on the M62 every day.
Dream was commissioned by local ex-miners and St.Helens Council as part of Channel 4s Big Art Project, an ambitious public art commissioning initiative supported by Arts Council England, the national development agency for the arts, and The Art Fund, the UKs leading independent art charity.
The Big Art Project seeks to inspire and create new works of public art, commissioned by communities, as well as debating the importance of art in the built environment. The journey leading up to todays unveiling of Dream, along with seven other Big Art Project sites across the UK, has been filmed for Big Art, a major four-part Channel 4 series, which starts on Sunday 10 May at 7.00pm.
Dream is the artists response to the brief and to subsequent conversations with the ex-miners group and members of the wider local community, who, far from wanting a mining monument, sought instead a forward-looking piece that would provide a beautiful, inspiring, contemplative space for generations to come. The work is intended to become a gateway feature for both Merseyside and Greater Manchester at the heart of the Northwest and to symbolise the remarkable regeneration of the whole region.
Weighing more than 370 tonnes, and individually fabricated in 90 unique panels of pre-cast concrete, Dream takes the form of a girls head with her eyes closed, seemingly in a dream-like state, and has taken seven months to construct.