AN ARTIST who likes to grab public attention with eyecatching creations admitted she was behind an addition to a landmark sculpture.
Laura Keeble added a bronze-effect skateboard to the £50,000 sculpture, called the Return.
Southend Council is keeping the new look for the time being after it received positive reviews.
Laura made her move in an early-morning operation and said it was done to give the public a double take as they walk past the artwork outside Southend Victoria station. The area is popular with skateboarders.
Laura is pleased the council liked her addition to the work, by Belgian sculptor Rene Julien.
She said: “I enjoyed the council response. I’m not sure the skateboard will last too long, as it is very temporary.
“It was created from plaster and acrylic. I installed it at about 4am last Monday.
“As with previous work the idea is that it is a temporary subversion of a public space with the idea to create a moment for the public to either have a ‘double- take’ or perhaps open a conversation.”
A can and shoes have been added since Laura’s venture.
She said: “I loved the can and shoes that I am led to believe the skateboarders created.
“This is something that happens with work I create in the public realm quite a lot.
“My Christmas shopping installation of three lifesize sculptures of the Three Kings was placed in New Bond Street, London, with shopping bags from Rolex, Dior and Chanel.
“The bags were added to to by expensive designer boutiques in the area.”
She added: “This interaction with the work is like a sense of ownership of the piece, but also a response to the conversation I have opened up, and I enjoy it a lot.
“I have been watching with interest the social media response to what was done in Southend.
“I am stoked that the response has been so overwhelmingly positive, but also that people are asking questions about a possible skate park in the area and the commissioning of public art.
“I think it is important for the community to feel a part of the decisions made and, most importantly, feel they can ask questions and be heard.”