23m Hope sculpture unveiled at Glasgow’s Clyde Gateway

A 23m high sculpture has been unveiled in Glasgow’s east end.

The launch event, involving pupils from across the city, was held at the Cuningar Loop woodland park in the Clyde Gateway area.

What happened at the launch event?

Competition winners from St Columbkille’s, Burnside and Glasgow’s Gaelic primary schools read out their words of hope, which are also inscribed on the sculpture.

Riverbank Primary School’s Eco Committee, hoping to be awarded their first green flag this year, also presented their words of hope.

The launch event also included musical performances from local school groups, including Larkhall Academy Pipes and Drums and Biggar High School and Hamilton Grammar School Vocal Ensembles, as well as live readings from award-winning Scottish poets, writers, and local school children, all of whose words of hope are inscribed on the sculptures.

How was it created?

Steuart Padwick, the artist and designer, whose previous work has been exhibited in London, New York and Shanghai, wants his Hope sculpture to help remind people that by taking better care of our environment we take better care of our own and our community’s mental well-being.

Padwick has based the design of the 20m high columns on brick chimney stalks that were once commonplace in the city’s east end and are made from a low carbon 100 per cent cement free concrete – a UK first. The child on top with its arms stretching out incorporates recycled glass aggregate.

Glasgow Central Station now hosts a 4.5m high timber Beacon of Hope constructed from contoured layers of Scottish, sustainably grown Sitka Spruce. A third sculpture, the 3.5m high Hope Triptych at the University of Strathclyde’s Rottenrow Gardens is a playful piece made from colourful reclaimed sheet steel.

‘Nowhere better’

Clyde Gateway’s executive director, Martin McKay, said: “With Glasgow having hosted COP26, I can think of nowhere better for this public art installation, which symbolises the hope of building a greener, healthier future, to call home than the east end of the city - an area that demonstrates that rapid transformations are possible.

“Communities in Clyde Gateway are used to welcoming global visitors and I am confident they will be just as proud of this legacy of COP26, as they were of previous events.”

Steuart Padwick, artist and designer, said: “The Hope sculpture started as a conversation with one engineering firm that evolved into a large scale project that is financially supported by 50 companies.

“It is a testament to the power of collaboration and dedication to deliver a better future. I want the sculpture to be a beacon of hope and positivity towards reaching global environmental milestones and a reminder that we, as a society, do care about each other, our neighbourhood, our city and our planet.”

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