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‘Spectators may be startled’ - Plans unveiled for new sculpture close to UEA Broad

PUBLISHED: 13:24 16 August 2019

How Laurence Edwards' Man of Stones could look in near the UEA Broad. Picture: Hudson Architects

How Laurence Edwards' Man of Stones could look in near the UEA Broad. Picture: Hudson Architects

Hudson Archietects

A towering bronze man designed by an acclaimed Suffolk sculptor could be the latest addition to the array of artworks displayed around the University of East Anglia’s campus.

How Laurence Edwards' Man of Stones could look in near the UEA Broad. Picture: Hudson ArchitectsHow Laurence Edwards' Man of Stones could look in near the UEA Broad. Picture: Hudson Architects

However, the proposed location of Laurence Edwards' Man of Stones is proving contentious, with concern the looming figure could prove startling if it gets the go ahead.

The Sainsbury's Centre for Visual Arts has applied to Norwich City Council for permission to install the 8ft bronze statue alongside a public footpath close to the UEA Broad, nestled among some adjacent trees and bushes.

And while planning papers submitted with the application admit it may be startling, it is hoped passers-by will embrace the figure as a "guardian" of the broad.

The scheme's design and access statement says: "The figure is site-specific to this location.

Map showing the proposed location for a new sculpture near the UEA Broad. Picture: Hudson ArchitectsMap showing the proposed location for a new sculpture near the UEA Broad. Picture: Hudson Architects

"The spectator may initially be startled by the sight of this figure emerging from nature but it is anticipated this will be followed by a more benign or even celebratory response and the figure will be seen a guardian offering protection to its watery home.

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"Less a haunting presence and more a blessing."

The sculpture has been designed by Mr Edwards, whose studio is in Halesworth, using materials gathered from the very area it is proposed to be placed including sticks, twigs and stones.

These materials are then moulded together using clay before being cast in bronze, should the city grant planning permission.

If it does, the sculpture would become the latest in a host of outdoor installations around the campus, as part of the SCVA's Sculpture Park.

It would also not be the first time an installation's position has sparked controversy on the campus.

In 2017, the centre came under criticism after a Sir Antony Gormley sculpture of a man was stood at the edge of the university library's roof.

Man of Stones by Laurence Edwards, which could be displayed near the UEA Broad. Picture: Hudson ArchitectsMan of Stones by Laurence Edwards, which could be displayed near the UEA Broad. Picture: Hudson Architects

The Sainsbury's Centre for Visual Arts and the sculptor have been approached for comment.

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