JUL 2010 - Popley sculpture forges community links
POPLEY schoolchildren went hammer and tongs this week to start work forging a new sculpture for the £40m Popley Islands regeneration project.
The sculpture is based on the quotation "No man is an island…", and forms part of a council-backed initiative to brighten up Popley - an area that's seen major investment in recent years.
Sentinel's Executive Director Val Bagnall said: "There's a big effort going into improving Popley, and while it's great we're a major part, we're very pleased to see local children rolling their sleeves up to help us revive community pride in the area."
The £40m regeneration of the area around the Maldive Road shops is the latest in a decade-long investment programme for Popley by Sentinel and follows on from the £15m regeneration of Longfellow Parade (off Shakespeare Road), plus around £3m spent on new windows, kitchens, bathrooms and boilers in Popley in the last year.
Community artist Anwick Forge said it was "a fantastic opportunity for local children to see how 'big art' is made", as well as having the chance to learn new skills and see a traditional craft like blacksmithing in action- something very few people get to experience these days.
Simon Taylor, Education Manager from local arts education charity The Making, is managing the project on our behalf and added: "We are ensuring that local residents are part of the whole design process, from helping to shortlist and interview the artists, to meeting them, hearing about their ideas and making their own contribution towards the finished product.
"The children had a really memorable day getting to grips with all the unusual tools and the exciting way Anwick Forge work with bits of metal!"
Meanwhile, the demolition of the outdated 1960s maisonettes is now complete, and everything is on track for the first new residents to move in next January.
The sculpture will be installed next April, with an official unveiling and community event planned for May 2011.