Scarborough and Whitby are highly honoured to be hosting two of the renowned artist, Ray Lonsdale’s giant sculptures for a month.
Ray Lonsdale, artist, fabricator and sculptor is loaning the towns two of his highly distinctive and thought provoking sculptures from 10 November until 10 December 2011.
Whitby’s West Pier will be the temporary home for ‘A High Tide in Short Wellies’, a steel giant of a tall fisherman measuring 12 feet high. Ray has used steel to imitate the textures of the fisherman’s clothing, from his woollen hat down to his huge Wellington boots. The fisherman also clasps a fishing rod which stands higher than the figure himself. His bearded face is made from the hand-cut steel plates and makes a powerful statement about the decline of the fishing industry which is summarised by a poem at the sculpture’s base:
‘A high tide in short wellies’
That’s it for me, I’ll see you later.
Gonna wrap this catch in protective paper,
Gonna face the sea with a thousand mile stare
And wish that I was floating there
In its summertime.
Down on the pier I saw a man with a board
It read ‘the end is near, accept your lord.
Then underneath this some fisherman wrote.
‘I can see the end from the back of my boat
‘This is wintertime.
Scarborough’s temporary visitor is another huge sculpture on the same scale as ‘A High Tide in Short Wellies’ and is named ‘Freddie Gilroy and the Belsen Stragglers’ based on a retired miner Ray became friends with who turned out to also be one of the first soldiers to relieve the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp at the end of World War II. This piece of art is not just about Freddie Gilroy but represents all the normal people that were pulled out of an ordinary life and forced into a very extraordinary and dangerous one during the World Wars. This sculpture will be located close to the Oasis Café in the North Bay for a one month period.
Ray Lonsdale, sculptor from County Durham said:
“Whitby seems to be the ideal location for ‘A High Tide in Short Wellies’ as the piece is all about the decline in the fishing industry and Whitby is such a nice area which has kept its fishing traditions.
“Scarborough is another unique town and I am pleased that my‘Freddie Gilroy and the Belsen Stragglers’ will be on show there for residents and visitors alike to look at and enjoy. This piece is almost a war memorial as it depicts the lives of all those who suffered during the World Wars.
“I hope that people get enjoyment from my sculptures but also reflect on the sensitivity and emotion which I have tried to convey through my work.”
These two pieces of art are for sale through ArtsBank at Saltburn by the Sea, telephone 01287 625300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
West Pier Fisherman Sculpture Pictures
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Is this the inspiration for the sculpture ? Whitby’s very own Big John