Andy Kirkby beats off competition to receive public art commission

An artist from Dorset has been announced as the recipient of a public art commission that will take place at the Weymouth Gateway site.

Andy Kirkby beat out 28 international and UK artists in order to make it onto the shortlist to be interviewed for the Weymouth Gateway artwork. The artist, who hails from Moreton near Dorchester, apparently excelled during the interviews as he has been named the winner of the bid.

Artists from around the world were invited to apply last November to create and design the public art scheme. The Portland and Weymouth community will be invited to also give their input on the scheme with the artist at a creative workshop that will be held in the near future.

The workshop will be held at a school so that young schoolchildren will also get to share their input and even create models that will be shown to the public as part of an exhibition scheduled to be held in March.

In addition, a blog will be set up so that the Weymouth community can offer comments, suggestions, and feedback on ideas that are proposed for the artwork. There is also talk about somehow linking the project with the art department at Weymouth College.

Kirkby has a reputation for combining contemporary and classical elements into his work and most recently worked on the Boscombe Sea Road Public Art Trail. He stated that he is looking forward to meeting local community members at a January public meeting that he hopes will help him to learn about local key themes that can be incorporated into the design.

Kirkby commented that the engagement with local people has always been a large part of his projects in the past and he believes that there should be real efforts to make sure that ‘public art’ really is public.