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Marsh Awards 2012

The Marsh Awards for Sculpture and Fountains was held on the 6th November at the PMSA headquarters in London and were presented by The Duke of Gloucester.

Mr. Jolyon Drury, Chairman of the judging committee, outlined the busy and diverse year of the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association with the inclusion of The Fountain Society within its structure and the inclusion of Tony Mott of The Fountain Society into its Board of Trustees.

The award follows the continuing sponsorship of the Marsh Christian Trust for the excellence in concept, design, siting, execution and access in the public domain and the panel of assessors respond to a set of criteria, reducing a long list of submissions to a short list of finalists, all of which are visited. Public sculpture has classes for new work and conservation. No award was made for conservation this year but there were two equal prize winners. The Fountain's assessors this year responded to the headline criterion "the best use of moving water in the regeneration of urban public space". One prize was awarded this year.

An address was made by Professor Brian Falconbridge PPRBS on public sculpture in the context of the Marsh Awards for excellence in public sculpture and fountain of the year and announced the awards as:

Public Sculpture:

1. Comedy Carpet by Gordon Young in collaboration with Why Not Associates - commissioned by Blackpool Council and funded by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, with its references to over 1,000 comedians and writers and covering more than 2000m, provides an extremely accessible feature.

2. The Tsunami Memorial, by Kevin Carmody and Andrew Groarke - the 117 tonne block of French granite, is the largest single piece of granite to be transported in the UK or France since the building of Stonehenge. In its quiet and inert way it is monumental, stark and imposing and is a fitting and enduring memorial to the many thousands who perished in the 2004 Tsunami.

Water Fountains:

The fountain at Queen's Square, Wolverhampton by Ustigate Ltd., enlivens this particular and distinguished urban space and does so imaginatively and sensitively, integrating well into this fine square. Ustigate was commissioned by Wolverhampton City Council to build and install a plaza-style fountain at Queens Square, Wolverhampton.

The assessors were looking for "the best use of moving water in the regeneration of an urban public space".

The fountain operates on an 11-week programmed sequence and changes its mood throughout the day. Colour change LED lighting ensures that the fountain remains visible at night.

The fountain can be either animated, with jets jumping and chasing each other, or slow and relaxed, with jets rising and falling. Laminar jumping jets shoot out of the ground and disappear into a catchment chamber. Low level ground misters have been incorporated into the sequence.

Of a number of water features reviewed against the judging criteria, Queens Square clearly stands out as worthy of the prize. The judging committee were pleased to present this to Ustigate.

To acknowledge the aesthetic appreciation of this area by the Local Authority the committee were pleased to award Wolverhampton City Council with a plaque in commemoration of their commission.

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Literary Note

Why not take a look at the Join Us page to read a piece of literary genius by JB Priestley?