Scurry along to Cheeseburn for a sculptural treat

15 May 2017 7:41AM

TWO thousand red and grey squirrels will soon be scampering across the grounds of Cheeseburn Sculpture near Stamfordham as sculptor Dan Gough unveils his extraordinary new work, Scurry.

Dan is last year’s winner of the very first Gillian Dickinson North East Young Sculptor Award and he has spent nine months bringing his vision to life.

Members of the public will be able to see it at Cheeseburn’s first open weekend of the year on Saturday and Sunday.

For Dan, it’s involved months of toil at the National Glass Centre, Sunderland, firing, glazing and placing the squirrels on mounts by hand.

The hugely ambitious installation, in Cheeseburn’s Victorian Walled Garden, is almost complete in time for the grand unveiling.

Dan has been mentored through the whole process of the design and production of his work by Cheeseburn curator Matthew Jarratt.

He said Dan’s project had struck a chord with the judges because of the topicality of the decline in the red squirrel population.

“Dan has worked really hard to bring life to his proposal and we are all really excited to see the finished work in situ,” he said.

Director and founder of Cheeseburn Sculpture, Joanna Riddell, added: “We hope that this unique opportunity will help Dan to develop his career as an artist – which is the main purpose of the award.”

Red Squirrels Northern England project manager Nick Mason said: “Scurry will provide an exciting new visual perspective on the emotive relationships we have with squirrels of both species in the UK and I would encourage all to go and explore how it makes them feel.”

The shortlist of artists in its second annual North East Young Sculptor of the Year competition has also been announced.

More than 30 artists, aged 18-25 years old, applied from across the region and the shortlist of 12 sees a number of the region’s universities represented.

The successful artists on the shortlist will each receive £300 to develop a proposal for a sculpture or installation which will be featured in an exhibition at the Stables Gallery at Cheeseburn from May 20 to 29 .

The winning artist will then receive £6,500 to develop their proposal which will be commissioned as a sculpture or installation at Cheeseburn in spring 2018.

Visitors to Cheeseburn this spring will be able to see the proposed installations and sculptures and vote for their favourite.

A public vote will also take place on the Cheeseburn Facebook page, in addition to input from a selection panel, before the winner is announced in the summer.

Cheeseburn Sculpture will open for its first weekends of 2017 tomorrow and Sunday and then on May 27-29.

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