I only live 15 minutes from the beach and it has been recently announced that the above confection of glass will soon grace its southern end.The beach already hosts Antony Gormley's Another Place and the "vase", with its walkway that juts out into the river, is the winning design for the Mersey Observatory, which will replace the radar tower that currently stands guard over the mouth of Mersey.
Looking north we can see beach snaking off for a couple more miles peppered with the statues.
For more concept art see the Architect's Journal.
really? a "first"er?
go away forever!
otherwise this is an awesome post. i love the statues, very eerie.
Well beyond the merely aesthetic there are a number of points:
1. There have been a lot of visitors to Another Place but no facilities. This has left certain areas looking like... well just imagine the aftermath of some hippy festival. As well as the "vase" there will be a visitor centre with tea shop, toilets and an exhibition space.
2. The "vase" will be the Mersey Observatory - considerably taller than the current radar tower (it'll be 150m high) so it will provide excellent views down the Mersey, south over the city, north up the beach, west to the mountains of Wales and a prime spot for viewing the vessels using the navigable channel.
3. The walkway between the two runs on and extends out over the river which should provide an excellent view of all the ships.
At the moment the public isn't allowed out onto the promontory that the old radar station sits on and just below it is an excellent bird habitat which is a popular stopping off point for migratory birds. The dock authorities will make all this area open to the public and the Observatory is the centrepiece of this.
This is just part of the local improvements which are themselves part of the broader redevelopment of the Mersey Basin - standing at the entrance to the Basin it is clearly a key part of this.
It is a pity it isn't coming sooner because part of the 2008 European City of Culture celebration there will be a massive light show called the River of Light and the existing tower will be used to house lights and lasers. I'm not sure what the long term plans are but the "vase" would also make an excellent base for this.
So basically it is part of improving the shabby facilities, providing an attraction itself, acts as a symbol for arriving ships and a key part of the wider redevelopments.
I see art and I like it. It not meant, to me, to be controversial (like a religious object placed in a container of body excretions might be) - it's meant to be enjoyed. It's what you take from it. I bristle at people, unless it's the artist themself, who tell me that this represents something like, "man's place juxtaposed against the existential hypotenuese of the dichotomy of tribal versus post modern extrapolation of a colostomy bag." By finding our own meaning(s) of the art, the art becomes something special to ourselves. That is Tao.