A STRIKING 14-foot high steel scorpion will soon sit at the entrance to Sheffield Forgemasters’ 64-acre site – built by the company’s own apprentices and using recycled materials found there.
The city council has granted planning permission for the steel scorpion sculpture to sit at the number two gate entrance on Brightside Lane.
The contemporary sculpture of the predatory beast is four metres high, two metres wide and six metres long and will feature a pair of grasping claws and a narrow, segmented tail in a characteristic forward curve over the back, ending with a stinger.
It was the brainchild of Forgemasters chief executive Graham Honeyman and designed by public arts sculptor Robin Widdowson with the help of guest artist Sara Beavan.
It will be made by a team of volunteer apprentices from Forgemasters, headed up by project director Tony Lyons.
Tony said: “The scorpion will feature a core steel substructure with recycled metal forming the upper layer of the sculpture, giving a weathered appearance.
“The installation will be mounted on a concrete foundation and will be illuminated from the base, creating a striking display.”
A team of 21 apprentices have volunteered to work on the project which is expected to take four months to complete and will be finished next spring.
Artist Robin developed the first phase of the project and the apprentices’ preparations have included outdoor team building, an inspirational tour of Yorkshire Sculpture Park in Wakefield and an expedition to Mam Tor observing and recording the landscape.
Mr Honeyman said: “We believe the concept of a striking piece of contemporary public art at the gateway to our site will become a real landmark for the city region.
“The fact that the scorpion will be made by apprentices using recycled materials from our company and manufacturing processes is particularly important.”
Robin has already designed two pieces of artwork for Forgemasters, including a recycled Pan sculpture and a copper and stainless steel world map in Forgemasters’ reception.