Gillian Wearing to immortalise a real family in bronze
Friday 19 August 2011
The only thing that really matters in life, it is often said, is your family. Yet how many statues do we see depicting devoted partners and adored kids alongside the heroic and famous? Not many. But Gillian Wearing is trying to change that.
The Turner Prize-winning artist is on the hunt for a real family to be immortalised in bronze. Their statue will be installed in the new Library of Birmingham, which is under construction next to the city's Repertory Theatre.
"The idea came from a family-monument project in Trento in 2008," Birmingham-born Wearing says. "I thought about doing another monument based in Birmingham, but with a different emphasis which celebrates the city's diversity."
Families living in Brum can nominate themselves online, with the eventual winners chosen by a panel headed by Wearing and Jonathan Watkins, director of Birmingham's Ikon Gallery. Watkins explains: "Instead of historical heroes being immortalised, here we are celebrating what is remarkable about every inhabitant of the city."
So what makes a family for the artist? "According to statisticians a family can be one person. I'm hoping that all sorts of families apply," says Wearing.
But what happens if this very modern family then gets divorced? Melt Dad down? "The work is a snapshot," says Watkins. "If the family is based on a married couple, in the sculpture at least, they will be married forever."
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant