A 60-foot sculpture by the main light of public art ‘saved’ from demolition
A large-scale public artwork by one of the foremost Scottish artists in the field appears to have been saved from demolition.
The 60-foot work of Charles Anderson – whose work adorned modern buildings such as shopping malls, swimming pools and office buildings as they appeared from the 1960s – was commissioned for the former Scottish Amicable complex in Craigforth, outside Stirling.
The fiberglass and bronze sculpture climbed the four floors of the office building, which later belonged to Prudential, and told hundreds of years of Stirling history.
The future of the room seemed threatened as the building had to be demolished to make way for a new living and working complex.
But the developers have now said they would be “proud” to incorporate the sculpture into Craigforth’s new landscape.
Mr. Anderson’s work has become the focus of several campaigns as the original locations of his pieces are rearranged.
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He said he was “disturbed” to lose the sculpture, but said the news of his apparent reprieve was “splendid” news.
Mr. Anderson said: “It is very heartwarming to know that this is going to please a future generation. I will sleep soundly tonight.
“My goal has always been to bring art to people and I wanted to engage with people who might never go to an art gallery. The answer was to bring it to them and put it in their offices, their canteens, their swimming pools. I have been very busy for many decades.
Mr. Anderson’s work, The Swimmers, was saved from the Stirling Pool redevelopment in 2014 when the stunning mural was saved by the original builders, the Ogilvie Group, with the sculpture now in the spotlight by of the company’s premises in the city.
A piece of abstract sculpture created for the Inland Revenue Office in Cumbernauld, which needs to be redeveloped, remains in danger. It has been moved to the back of a parking lot and is now covered in brambles.
The potential threat to the Prudential sculpture was highlighted by filmmakers Paul Gallagher and Michael Prince, who are making a play about the life and work of Mr. Anderson.
Mr Gallagher said other examples of the work at Charing Cross station and the Savoy Center have now been obscured.
He said: “Charles Anderson is one of Scotland’s greatest and least known artists, whose work is seen by thousands of people daily. His work is of great value and reflects a particular period in history. “
A spokesperson for The Ambassador Group, which heads the development of Craigforth, said: “Although we do not own the artwork in question, we would be happy to work with supporters of Charles Anderson and Historic Environment. Scotland to approach the current owners, M&G plc and assist where we can.
“As part of our Craigforth Campus redevelopment project, transforming the site into a great place to work and live, we are keen to create an active community space, which can be used by locals and artists. We would be proud to keep this unique mural by displaying it in the beautiful location of Craigforth, where it can be enjoyed by the community at large for many generations to come.