Sculptors with big ideas get chance to fulfil their dream

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A steel cube dropped from a helicopter and 10ft palm trees made from lorry tyres are among the ideas shortlisted for the £25,000 Jerwood Sculpture Prize this year.

A steel cube dropped from a helicopter and 10ft palm trees made from lorry tyres are among the ideas shortlisted for the £25,000 Jerwood Sculpture Prize this year.

Models of the eight works in the running for the prize go on display at the Jerwood Space gallery in London today with the winner to be announced on 19 April.

He or she will receive £25,000 to turn their idea into full-size reality, and the end product will go on display at a sculpture park sponsored by the charitable Jerwood Foundation at Ragley Hall country estate in Warwickshire.

The prize, now in its third year, is aimed at giving support to sculptors within 15 years of their graduation, who might not otherwise have the means to create large works.

The idea for the two-metre steel cube, dropped from a helicopter and deformed by the impact, was conceived by David Rickard, who was born in 1975 in New Zealand but now lives in London.

Icarus Palm , which envisages using tyre treads gathered in Belize for its fronds, is the proposal of Douglas White, 27, who is still studying at the Royal College of Art, London.

Andrea Gregson has proposed Banquet , a miniature bronze house on tall legs. Members of the public who peer inside will be able to see the detritus of a wild banquet in what she describes as "a fantasy of 18th century decadence".

Judith Dean, who is 40 year this year, plans to place a rectangular section of a ploughed field in bronze on the Ragley Hall lawn while Elizabeth de Monchaux, also 40, plans a stainless steel pavilion.

Venus , a kitsch floral arch, is the work of Yoko Fukada, a Japanese jewellery designer. Simon Hitchens' An Alliance with Absence , is a block of red granite and clear resin. System No 10 by Julian Wild, 31, comprises a single line of tubing in a giant knotted ball.

Alan Grieve, chairman of the Jerwood Foundation and one of the judges, said: "All of the shortlisted proposals demonstrate a high standard of knowledge and innovation in the area of contemporary public sculpture."

Douglas White said it was "really exciting" to get the opportunity to make the work. For someone like myself, at the beginning of my career, it's difficult to generate the funds to do something that ambitious."

The judges for the prize also include William Pye, the sculptor, and Margot Heller of the South London Gallery. The judges will interview all eight contenders about their ideas before announcing the winner on 19 April.

British and Irish citizens, and sculptors who have lived in the UK for at least three years, were eligible. The artists were chosen after the judges considered outlines of their proposals and a portfolio ofwork.They were then asked to make the models, with a maximum height of 18 inches, which go on display today.

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