Artist admits: I am behind addition to landmark sculpture at Southend's Victoria Gateway

Artist admits: I am behind addition to landmark sculpture at Southend's Victoria Gateway

Addition - the skateboard on the statue

Artist Laura Keeble

First published in Echo News
Last updated

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.”

Comments (8)

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9:53am Tue 24 Jun 14

roger moore says...

that statue reminds me a bit of Russia for some reason.
that statue reminds me a bit of Russia for some reason. roger moore
  • Score: 5

10:03am Tue 24 Jun 14

SARFENDMAN says...

It is a really nice piece of art but to me seems a bit lost in such a large wasteland. Why couldn't they have plonked Queen Vic here which is also a bit lost on the Cliffs. After all it's near enough the old Victoria Circus.
It is a really nice piece of art but to me seems a bit lost in such a large wasteland. Why couldn't they have plonked Queen Vic here which is also a bit lost on the Cliffs. After all it's near enough the old Victoria Circus. SARFENDMAN
  • Score: 11

10:09am Tue 24 Jun 14

BarryTanner says...

The original is awful, but the additions are humorous. I like the skateboard and can but I have to say that I'm most "stoked" about the addition of the clapped-out Supras that cover those disgusting mule shoes that the woman had on her feet. Kudos to whoever did that.......
The original is awful, but the additions are humorous. I like the skateboard and can but I have to say that I'm most "stoked" about the addition of the clapped-out Supras that cover those disgusting mule shoes that the woman had on her feet. Kudos to whoever did that....... BarryTanner
  • Score: 2

10:45am Tue 24 Jun 14

Chubbiest Hobo says...

I see the shagging pigeons are still there!
I see the shagging pigeons are still there! Chubbiest Hobo
  • Score: 4

10:52am Tue 24 Jun 14

Robin Reliant says...

why would they put filthy pigeons in the sculpture? they wouldn't use rats would they.
why would they put filthy pigeons in the sculpture? they wouldn't use rats would they. Robin Reliant
  • Score: -3

11:36am Tue 24 Jun 14

Howard Cháse says...

I think it's a great addition to the statuue.

Well done Laura.
I think it's a great addition to the statuue. Well done Laura. Howard Cháse
  • Score: 8

1:33pm Tue 24 Jun 14

volunteer driver says...

Another £50,00 wasted on a dead duck
Another £50,00 wasted on a dead duck volunteer driver
  • Score: 2

9:20pm Tue 24 Jun 14

_champagne2 says...

what a waste of public money many staff lost their jobs from the Council because of the overspending in Anna Waite's reign
what a waste of public money many staff lost their jobs from the Council because of the overspending in Anna Waite's reign _champagne2
  • Score: 9

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