Chapter launches crowdfunding campaign to save iconic sculpture and bring it back home to Wales

Posted on: 26 Nov 2018

Today, Chapter Arts Centre launched Save Our Sculpture - its first online fundraising campaign via Art Happens, Art Fund’s crowdfunding platform.

We are asking people to become involved in a really exciting project: to raise £18,000 to help rescue and restore an iconic sculpture by seminal British artist Garth Evans and bring it back home to Wales.

In 1972, influential British artist Garth Evans created a large-scale sculpture that was sited in Cardiff City Centre for six months as part of the Peter Stuyvesant City Sculpture project, which saw 17 new works placed at the heart of eight cities across England and Wales. The project was a significant chapter in the history of public art and urban space, using locations hitherto unexplored in a creative context.

Garth chose Cardiff as the location for his work as he had very strong family connections with Wales and his Welsh grandfather’s tales of his time as a miner were hugely influential in the sculpture’s form – evoking both a hammer-like tool and the image of a mine tunnel that was as black as coal.

“I wanted to make something that would impact its location, altering and affecting the space and by its presence, create a new sense of place.”

Garth Evans

The sculpture was one of the first publicly-sited works to be installed in Wales and the morning after its installation, Garth anonymously recorded the comments of passers-by, giving a unique insight in to viewer’s reactions.

After the project, the sculpture was relocated to Leicestershire where it has remained neglected and unseen from the public ever since. The years have definitely taken their toll on this important work and its condition is now rapidly deteriorating.

Public donations will help us to save the sculpture by carrying out the specialist restoration that is so desperately needed to prevent any further and potentially irreversible damage. Once repaired, we will then be able to return the work to its original location in Wales almost fifty years after it was first seen.

Once in place, a new set of recordings will be gathered anonymously by the artist. We’ll be able to find out what a whole new generation of people thinks about it and how attitudes towards art in the public realm might have changed.

This project is not only about restoring and relocating an historically significant work of art, it’s also about the power that art has to transform our civic spaces and influence the opinions of future generations.

The return of the sculpture to Cardiff also forms part of a wider celebration of Garth’s work and following it will be an exhibition at Chapter (the first solo exhibition of his work in Wales since 1976); The Cardiff Tapes, a theatre production based on the original recordings made in Cardiff; a new recording and subsequent publication featuring a transcript of comments made by the general public in response to the sculpture in 2019.

The Art Happens 'Save Our Sculpture' Campaign runs for just six weeks, from 28 November 2018 to 14 January 2019. This fantastic project will only be realised if all the £18,000 is raised, so please support us by contributing as much or as little as you can.

Donations start from as little as £5 and there is an array of rewards on offer in return for your support, including a set of eight exclusive postcards and a tote bag inspired by the project. Other rewards include a limited edition print, tickets to see the new production of 'The Cardiff Tapes', a private tour of the exhibition with the artist and curator or a framed, limited edition etching by Garth Evans. You can make a donation here.


About Art Happens and Art Fund

Art Happens with Art Fund is the UK’s only crowdfunding platform for museums and galleries. Since launching in 2014, over 34 museums have raised over £500,000 for art and cultural projects across the country, ranging from the conservation of works of art to new exhibitions and commissions by leading artists. Art Happens was recognised in 2016 with an Emcees Arts & Culture Award for Excellence in Fundraising for ‘Best use of digital channels in a fundraising campaign’. Previous campaigns include projects by Museum of London, Norwich Museum and Art Gallery at The Bridewell, and Turner Contemporary, Margate.

Art Fund is the national fundraising charity for art. In the past five years alone, Art Fund has given £34 million to help museums and galleries acquire works of art. It also helps museums share their collections with audiences by supporting a range of tours and exhibitions and makes additional grants to support the training and professional development of curators.

Save Our Scuplture has been funded though Art Happens, Art Fund's crowd-funding platform.


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