Artwork proposals for district council HQ

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Three artists have put forward proposals for a new works of art to be unveiled at the newly-refurbished The Symington Building in Market Harborough.

The Arts Council has given Harborough District Council a £15,000 grant to to commission a new work of art to celebrate the building’s corset factory past, as well as its present and future.

The former R & W H Symington building in Adam and Eve Street reopened in January after a 12-month and £5.75m refurbishment.

The installation will be put on display in the reception area in June.

A trio of works have been shortlisted. They are The Rich Woven Fabric of Liberty Land by Medbourne artist Derek Hunt; Swedish Maidens by Anne Schwegmann-Fielding of Colchester and Symington Patterns by John Thomson of Hampshire.

The proposals went on display earlier this month and will remain on show until Tuesday, April 8.

Following a published brief, 30 artists from across the UK expressed an interest.

The final three were shortlisted by a panel of judges before the final commission is awarded next month.

The panel includes elected members of the district council, representatives from Harborough Museum and Leicestershire County Council’s art collection department, district council staff and a sixth form art student from Harborough’s Robert Smyth Academy.

The three artists have all been given access to a wide range of historical material about the Victorian building’s corset industry past.

Their proposals can be seen in situ now, as well as on the council’s website.

District residents are being urged to make their views known about the proposals which will be fed back to the panel for their consideration when making a final decision.

Mr Hunt, the only local artist out of the three finalists, has designed a work using stained glass.

He combines the use of poetry with glass sculptures positioned in front of the text at intervals to create a 3D poem in layers of transparency and colour.

The glass sculptures take the form of individually cut and kiln-fused shapes containing colour and textures, and have illustrations of corsets and new images/text provided by the community.

The final selection of images within the glass would be made alongside Robert Smyth pupils.

Ms Schwegmann-Fielding is a mosaic specialist. Her work features a series of mosaic corsets created with donated crockery, jewels and buttons.

It continues at the top of the stairs, leading to the museum with a group of mosaic buttons completing a vinyl outline of a Liberty bodice.

Mr Thomson works primarily in metal. His design would be a series of five steel panels mounted on the wall in the reception with corsets etched into the steel to form a 3D relief.

The steel sheets are shaped and textured to resemble the paper patterns used in the factory, showing the wear, creases and folds resulting from their use in the manufacturing process.