series of seven innovative sculpture designs that will be installed in Sea Road to form Boscombe’s first arts trail (subject to planning permission) have been revealed.

The designs created by Dorset artist Andy Kirkby and chosen by a panel of arts professionals, local people and ward councillor Lisa Northover, reflect the ideas put forward by local residents of Sea Road and Undercliff Road, and Andy Kirkby’s own distinctive approach to public art.

All seven sculptures, many of which will have a blue ‘glow’ at night, are visually linked through colour, a common gilded rope feature and materials including bronze, copper and cast iron. The gilded rope feature is intended to act as a visual lure to lead people towards the next sculpture and onwards up (or down) Sea Road. A marine theme is evident in many of the sculptures with objects and marine life such as a diving helmet, a boat and a sunfish represented.

Councillor Anne Filer, Cabinet Member for Leisure, said: “This is an exciting project which has really engaged the local community. The visually stunning, innovative sculptures reflect the local environment of Boscombe, its history and its future, in the year that Bournemouth celebrates its bicentenary. The trail will bring a unique focus for the area, and will create a great attraction for both residents and visitors.”

Local resident Linda Sheppard who lives directly outside the proposed site of the Sunfish artwork said: “I attended the presentation outlining all the designs and was able to actually meet the artist and understand the concept to link the Boscombe shopping precinct to the sea front. I love every one of the fun designs and I think they will inspire and entertain passers by.”

Boscombe retailer Mark Cribb of Urban Beach added:

The new arts trail is a fantastic way of linking the beautiful recent improvements on the seafront with the high street and traditional Victorian arcades in Boscombe town centre. It’s really exciting to see the residents of Boscombe walking around with heads held high and a new sense of pride in their town and community. The negative stigma of recent years in Boscombe really is becoming consigned to history and the future looks very bright indeed. The street art is just another little part of the jigsaw of improvements and redevelopment that really is turning Boscombe from a thorn to a crown in the district of Bournemouth.

The £74,000 arts trail, funded by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) as part of the Council’s cultural regeneration project for Boscombe, is set to be fully completed by 30 September with four of the seven sculptures installed before 23 July, subject to planning permission. A planning application has now been submitted for consideration.
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