A ‘Moving’ Piece Of Sculpture

20 October 2014

The Costain team working on the London Bridge Station Redevelopment Project, as part of Network Rail’s Thameslink Programme, came to the aid of local sculptor Austin Emery when he needed to move a 2.5 tonne sculpture.

“Over the past two years Austin has been holding sculpture workshops for the local community in Bermondsey,” said Mick Caldwell, Community and Security Manager, London Bridge Station Redevelopment.  “The sculpture – called the Shared in reference to the nearby Shard - was the result: a 4.5m-high work made of stone carvings produced by locals at the workshops.”

The sculpture was to be placed in a specially created garden at the Tyers Estate in Bermondsey Street, just 300m from the project offices. There its unveiling was to be the highlight of the annual Bermondsey Street Festival. But first the sculpture had to be transported from Austin’s studio space in Surrey Quays – and that’s where Costain came in.

“Something that big could easily have cost £5000 to move,” said James Kelly, Senior General Foreman. “So we went down to the studio, loaded up the sculpture in two sections and then drove it the three miles to the estate. There we unloaded it onto an area the local council had cleared for it, and Austin and his team of specialists put it back together again. It was definitely a one-off job but it all went very well with no major dramas.”

Costain was called in again when estate residents needed help putting up 90m of bunting created by local school Snowsfields Primary, and covering the sculpture in a shroud specially designed by fashion and textile designer Zandra Rhodes.

Two days later team members were there to watch the unveiling of the sculpture at the Bermondsey Street Festival by renowned artist and Bermondsey resident Norman Ackroyd RA.

“We then saw the Shared for the first time in all its glory,” said Mick. “It’s a real tribute to community partnership and is already being considered a local landmark. The Shared is an artwork that successfully unites many corners of the community.”




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