As part of the Dartmouth Mayflower 400 commemorations, an eye-catching sculpture of a figure representing a Pilgrim is being created by artist Mark Gregory, in collaboration with Dartmouth Academy. It will be installed in Dartmouth for all visitors to see, as well as being a permanent work of art for the town, the sculpture will form part of the Mayflower Heritage Trail route helping to tell the Mayflower story to visitors for years to come.
In preparation for the sculptures unveiling we caught up with Lindsay Ellwood, Chairman of Education for Dartmouth Mayflower 400 to find out more about the monument.
How did the idea come about for the sculpture?
As Education Lead, I contacted the schools to discuss possible projects. Nicola Perrott, the Director of Learning and Head of the Art Department at Dartmouth Academy came up with the idea of a sculpture, and suggested Mark Gregory, as they have worked together before. Mark is a sculptor and teacher who works in Cornwall. After a lot of discussions between the three of us about what form the sculpture should take, and many sketches and developments later – we have “Pilgrim’. Dartmouth Mayflower 400 commissioned Mark Gregory to make this sculpture in collaboration with Dartmouth Academy.
When did you start? How long will it take to make?
Nicola and I first discussed the concept in 2016. Mark has recently completed the framework; the Academy pupils will create copper panels in workshops in September, so it has been a long process!
How big is it going to be?
Just under 2m tall.
What’s it made of?
The framework is made of galvanised steel, and the pupils’ copper panels will be riveted to the framework. Each panel corresponds to an area of the figure, such as a section of the cloak, and the pupils will create raised images relating to the Mayflower Story, using the repoussé method, which involves hammering on the reverse side of the copper.
Where can people see the sculpture?
The sculpture will be installed on Dartmouth’s South Embankment in mid October.
How long will the sculpture be on display?
This is a permanent sculpture for the town.
Which part are you most looking forward to completing?
I am really looking forward to seeing the finished sculpture with the copper panels added.
How did you get involved in the project?
I am Education Lead, and this is one of several Education Projects that we are developing for the Mayflower 400 commemoration.
Have you ever done something like this before?
I have been involved with children creating art work before, but nothing as large and permanent as this.
Who else is involved?
As well as the school and artist, Mark Gregory, we are very fortunate have the support of South Hams District Council for this project. Dartmouth Town Council and Dartmouth Green Partnership are also involved.
What does being involved in Mayflower mean to you?
I am delighted to be working with the local schools to help them get them involved with Mayflower 400. As a result, pupils will be learning about the history of the time, and Dartmouth’s role in this fascinating story.
Where can people find out more about the Mayflower 400 story?
For more details about the Mayflower Story, and all of our projects and events see: https://www.dartmouthmayflower400.uk