As you cross the Kopu Bridge, at the gateway to the Coromandel, you’ll soon be greeted by a fantastic array of sculptures. The Thames Public Art Trust (TPAT) has been working on the project for 2 years, to bring a fresh spark to the Thames district with the series of permanent art installations.
Amongst the new artworks, visitors can look forward to a giant Jandal, and a six metre tall toy train. The Trust are hoping to capture the imagination of the public and help bring a new light to the coastal town.
The Trust invited submissions for sculptures to populate the Kopu - Thames leg of the Rail Trail. It’s hoped the project will enhance the Trail experience for users, turning this leg of the trail into a destination visitor event.
The competition brief was made available for any person, artist or non artist to enter. 48 separate entries were received - local, national and international. The competition was designed as the launch for a long term project to add sculptures to the Kopu - Thames trail.
The displayed works were mounted with no reference to the artist to facilitate an anonymous and unbiased judging process. It was intended the selected works would be the most successful based on merit and strength of concept.
Sculptors are working with TPAT to arrange construction and installation of the winning sculptures. The enhancement of the trail with sculpture is part of an ongoing initiative to bring creative expression to the public, and enhance local and visitor experiences in the region.
If you're interested to hear more about the project, you can watch part one of the documentary The Speeding Train: From Paper to Trail - Idea.
N.B The sculpture entitled Interwoven in the photograph is intended to be placed on privately held land beside the rail trail in the near future.
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