Plymouth’s most prominent artworks range from sculptures inspired by Plymouth’s history, sculptures with a functional or playful purpose and a range of socially engaged commissions and a number of trails.
‘The Armada Dial’ sits at the junction of Armada Way and New George Street in Plymouth City Centre. Created by artist and sculptor Carole Vincent the artwork features a large sundial design and fountain. The artwork was commissioned by Plymouth City Council as part of the pedestrianisation of the City Centre in 1987.
Arrival and Departure was commissioned by University of Plymouth in 2012 as part of their 150th anniversary celebrations. Artist Ian McChesney created two opposing sculptural forms hand carved from solid granite, designed to resemble nautical bollards.
The public artwork on Plymouth Hoe marks the spot where one of the world’s most influential bands sat in the late 1960s. The copper artwork was created by Thrussell and Thrussell, a duo of artist metalsmiths based on Bodmin Moor.
A pub sign, on the site of the old Royal Marine pub on Torridge Way, was re-erected with changeable, seasonal signs to represent Efford’s heritage and identity. The pub was demolished in the 1990s but the sign remained as a symbol for the community. The artist worked with the local residents and school to refurbish the sign with a new design inspired by memories of the pub and its landlord.
Frances May Favata’s large stone sculpture ‘Hope’ depicts a child being raised to the sky, a symbol of hope for the future. A mirrored panel behind the figure reflects a warped vision of the work to represent the impact and distortion that war has on all ordinary life but particularly civilians and children.
‘In Praise of Trees’ is a stone seating sculpture inspired by a fallen tree which left a large hole in an ancient stone wall in Ham Woods. Carved from local Dartmoor granite and surrounded by an archway built from the salvaged slate, the sculpture has an oak seat and is built into the existing wall.
The public artwork on West Hoe Pier was created by Antony Gormley, one of the world’s most celebrated artists working today. The work was installed permanently to commemorate Mayflower 400 and the opening of The Box.
‘Messenger’ is located outside the Theatre Royal in Plymouth's city centre. Created by Cornish-born sculptor Joseph Hillier to mark the completion of the Theatre’s Regeneration Project in 2013, she was unveiled in March 2019 and measures seven metres (23 feet) high.
An 80-foot long, painted, mild steel loop sculpture which is sited on the top of three brick railway pillars in Victoria Park. ‘Moor’ is the work of one Britain's foremost sculptors, Richard Deacon. The work was fabricated by Blight and White in Plymouth under the supervision of the artist.
This large sculpture is sited at the entrance to the Energy from Waste Plant in Devonport. Smooth concrete walls suspend a working bell cast from waste aluminium collected from the facility over a nine month period.
This large scale sculpture created by artist Lucy Glendinning responds to its architectural surroundings of steel and glass and is designed to look as if it is coming out of the corner of the building. The figure is balanced on top ‘riding a wave’ in reference to Plymouth’s nautical history, relationship to the sea and the act of defying gravity.
The life-size figure of Andrew the Fisherman is portrayed casting a net across the two pillars in front of the Church. The artwork creates an arch for people to pass beneath, connecting the city centre and the minster church. The design recognises Andrew’s role as a ‘fisher of people’ and that the minster is dedicated to one of Jesus’ disciples. The sculpture also highlights Plymouth’s long history as a busy fishing port.
A walkway, which has extended the coastal path through Plymouth, comprises a distinctively marked trail across 9.3 miles designed to enhance the rich social, industrial and naval history of Plymouth. This is an entertaining and engaging walk where art is used to highlight the city's history and heritage.