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E2 FREE Sculpture Street

  • 6 West St Leigh-on-Sea, England, SS9 1QG United Kingdom (map)

In 2004, some years into the successful Trail, local artist Andrew Haines had the idea to open West Street to garden artworks, where residents could have an artist display work in their garden, and this was called Sculpture Street. Billed as a ‘community project to excite the imagination, to inspire and to encourage creativity’, this was a significant move in the Trail’s history, and proved very successful, proof, if needed, of how continually inventive the Trail was. For the event, West Street was shut off from traffic, and turned it into a great community event, with different work in most gardens.

Andrew explains: “It was great. At least 2,000 people were in the street. I know because I counted them!”

It came to be another form of identity for the street, where residents would say; “I live on Sculpture Street!”

“The whole thing went better than I ever imagined,” concluded Andrew.

And now, to celebrate the twentieth anniversary, Sculpture Street is being revived for a special one-off, thirteen years after its success: “the uptake has had a lot of interest, and the work is going to be very different,” adds Andrew. There will be various sculptures, as well as people demonstrating materials like marble in the gardens. It’s quite an interesting proposition, as Andrew explains: “artistically, there’s quite a lot to it. From the public’s point of view, suddenly there’s all this art in their face!”