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Four city art projects scoop funding

Lichfield City Art Fund presentation

Lichfield District Council, in partnership with Swinfen Broun Charitable Trust, has awarded £134,000 to four Lichfield City public art projects.  

Towards the end of 2017, Lichfield District Council and Swinfen Broun Charitable Trust teamed up to launch the Lichfield City Art Fund. The fund was set up to reinvest the proceeds of the sale of the statue Donna Che Trattiene il Tempo into new art projects.

The philanthropist Swinfen Broun had bequeathed the statue, known locally as Old Father Time, to the people of Lichfield. However, after a permanent home for the statue could not be found, the council auctioned it off in 2008 with the intention to use the money on new art projects.

After considering all the applications received, four applicants have been successful in bidding for a share of the Lichfield City Art Fund.

The successful applicants:

•    Lichfield Cathedral’s project to create a bronze sculpture of St Chad has been awarded £50,000.
•    St Mary’s in the Market Square has been awarded £44,979 to create a performance space for community groups to use.
•    Erasmus Darwin House will receive £25,050 to create a sculpture based on the work of Erasmus Darwin as well as a project to help the local community create smaller sculptures.
•    Lichfield Festival’s project to create a Puppet Parade has been awarded £13,752.

Councillor Ian Pritchard, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, Environment & Development Services, said:

“We received a good range of applications to the Lichfield City Art Fund, and I am delighted with the four projects we’ve chosen to support. From community art projects and art spaces to sculptures that celebrate two notable Lichfield figures, there is a great mix of schemes. We are all looking forward to seeing the completed projects that will no doubt have a big impact on the city.”

The council invited the successful applicants to a small reception at District Council House on Thursday 29 March to award the funding.

David Smedley, Chairman of Swinfen Broun Charitable Trust, added:

“It will be wonderful to see the eclectic art projects that will be helped by the kindness and philanthropy of Colonel Swinfen Broun.”

More about the four projects

Applicant: Lichfield Cathedral.
Project name: St Chad: a major new permanent public sculpture of a key figure in Lichfield’s history.
Project outline: Lichfield Cathedral has commissioned local sculptor Peter Walker to create a statue of the founding Bishop of Lichfield, St Chad (c634-672), to whom the cathedral is dedicated. Made of bronze and standing 3 metres tall in Dam Street, to welcome visitors to the cathedral, he will hold a representation of the cathedral’s 8th century Chad Gospels in one hand with the other raised in blessing. As the cathedral’s artist in residence, Peter Walker will make the sculpture on site in a studio in Cathedral Close, open to the public to see first-hand how a commission like this goes from lump of clay to finished artwork.
Funding awarded: £50,000

The Very Revd Adrian Dorber, Dean of Lichfield, said:

“We are enormously grateful to the Lichfield City Art Fund for this very generous early investment in the commission. This is a wonderful kick-start to a big project which will showcase a splendid local talent in sculptor Peter Walker and provide Lichfield and its cathedral with a landmark sculpture portraying our founder St Chad. We hope the sculpture of this most approachable saint will be a welcoming sign to all who visit Lichfield and the cathedral.”

Applicant: St Mary’s in the Market Square  
Project name: The revitalisation of St Mary’s into a multi-use cultural hub in heart of the city
Project outline: Creating a performance space on the first floor of St Mary’s for community groups to use for visual arts, dance and drama.
Funding awarded: £44,979

Louise Fleming, Vice Chair of St Mary’s, said:

“Our vision at St Mary’s is to inspire future generations through enriching experiences and real opportunities by creating a unique heritage and arts space which will create a lasting legacy for Lichfield City. We felt that Lichfield was crying out for such a space – where groups can discover how their past can shape their future and learn new skills; a space where passionate local groups can be mentored and a space where new visual and performance based artists can kick-start their future careers.

“We feel that we are perfectly placed to lead and shape this in partnership with the county council, the library, local groups and museums to create a holistic offer that benefits all. Our offer will complement the other historic and artistic attractions offering a seedbed for larger events and a stepping stone for the development of skills and talents, allowing our younger generation to progress within the city venues to a wider and broader audience and a deeper level of skill.  

“We have had amazing national and local support including, most recently the Conduit Lands Trust, all helping St Mary’s to create a new future whilst keep a bookmark in the past!”

Applicant: Erasmus Darwin House
Project name: Erasmus Darwin’s Lunar Legacy
Project outline: A metal sculpture created by artist in residence, Hannah Golding, based on the work of Dr Erasmus Darwin will be installed either in the garden or inside Erasmus Darwin House. Hannah will also work with the local community on a series of smaller sculptures based on the history of the Lunar Society. Both elements will be exhibited at Erasmus Darwin House and tour a number of venues.
Funding awarded: £25,050

Ruth Buttery, Grants & Project Officer for Erasmus Darwin House, said:

“We’re so grateful to have received this funding which takes us a step closer to realising this interesting art project that will be for all our visitors to enjoy for years to come. Erasmus Darwin was passionate about the arts and we are sure he would have been delighted with the City Art Fund and the projects it will help to fund for the benefit of the whole city.

“This project is born out of our aim to make the successful ‘Lunar Legacy’ lecture programme, accessible to a much wider and diverse audience. Therefore, by providing an avenue for participatory co-created artwork based on the internationally important story of The Lunar Society, which met at Erasmus Darwin House, the wider local community will gain a sense of pride and ownership of their local heritage.”

Applicant: Lichfield Festival  
Project name: Lichfield Festival 2018 Puppet Parade and community arts website
Project outline: A community parade of puppets through the city during Lichfield Festival 2018.
Funding awarded: £13,752

Fran Richards, Executive Director of Lichfield Festival, said:

“Lichfield Festival will facilitate a large community puppet parade through the city on the first Saturday evening of the Lichfield Festival - 7 July 2018, ahead of the performance of Noye's Fludde, featuring puppets created by groups from across the district who will work with a professional puppetry company.

“The project will be a visually-arresting public event which will be captured on video. Following this we will create a digital art space, which is launched by using footage and photography taken at the community parade and invite other local arts organisations to display their community art on this website in the future.”

Posted on Monday 9th April 2018

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