Thursday, September 29, 2011

News: Iconic "Man of Steel" for Rotherham


A 40-metre high sculpture including a stainless steel figure is being proposed as an iconic landmark in Rotherham.

Sheffield City Council has invited ideas for a statue in the Lower Don Valley and the "Man of Steel" project is one being put forward for consideration.

The proposed design created by local sculptor Steve Mehdi has already received support from Rotherham Council and Sheffield Chamber of Commerce.

Those backing the impressive sculpture hope that it will identify the region's industrial past and become a catalyst to entrepreneurs setting up new business in an area of regeneration.

Standing on a former landfill site on Meadowhall Road in Rotherham, overlooking the M1 and Meadowhall Shopping Centre, close to where the Tinsley Towers used to stand, this unique sculpture will be twice the height of the Angel of the North in Gateshead.

A 20-metre high stainless steel figure will sit on a 20-metre black column which together will represent the metals and coal mining history of the area. Leading up to the base will be a "timeline" pathway depicting the rich history of entrepreneurs that defined this region but leave space for future ones.

Sculptor Steve Mehdi, said: "The design embodies the generations of workers who have passed through numerous factory gates and left their mark and their memories on the landscape.

"Enshrined in a mantle of steel and coal it is an icon of a former age, and a catalyst for a new one. It looks inward, contemplating the past, but looks out on an ever changing landscape of technology and invention.

"This project falls in to a long tradition of monumental sculptures in society. It is about scale. People have always been affected and inspired by the awesome nature of the colossal. The statue delivers a message saying "we are big, we are modern and we can take on the world.""

Richard Wright, executive director of Sheffield Chamber and CEO of Rotherham company, Inertius, added: "The statue not only recognises this city region's heritage, but will symbolise how this area is at the forefront of the latest innovations in manufacturing and engineering technologies and making a name in exciting new sectors."

It is expected that the cost of the project will be privately funded.

Steve Mehdi website

Images: Steve Mehdi


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