Internationally renowned master sculptor Casto Solano has revealed designs for the public art gateway marking the entrance to Brighton’s newest neighbourhood Edward Street Quarter. Work by his British-Spanish studio SolArt has appeared in cities around the world, including Paris, Vancouver and Seattle.
Now his latest sculpture, inspired by the hull of a ship and whale bones, will connect Edward Street Quarter with its history as a fishing community.
Local designer Richard Wolfstrome, who has been helping Edward Street Quarter to find the best talent to deliver stand out public art, said: “SolArt won based on the merits of their idea, their skills and the beauty of their design. We also wanted to celebrate that Brighton is an international city which has great connections with our neighbours in Europe.”
“This piece will work in perfect harmony with Cosmo Sarson’s 10m high ceramic mural of the sea god Neptune and Bruce William’s groundwork fishing net. The three pieces together demonstrate a joined-up-thinking approach to create a cohesive place narrative.”
SolArt’s public art will feature a reflective ceiling enabling people to see their faces and encouraging them to interact with the piece. The outer layer will be made of weathering steel which ages over time, recalling the rusty hull of a ship.
The studio is based in the Basque Country in northern Spain, where leading expert Casto has built his international reputation for producing outdoor artworks for 30 years.
“We are looking forward to installing our whale bone sculpture in Edward Street Quarter and adding our piece to the art trail which is taking shape in this vibrant new destination,” said Sculptor Casto Solano.
“I am passionate about creating iconic pieces which invite interaction and participation. I believe art can connect us through our shared space and culture, and that good art should attract visitors from the local area and as well as nationally. This piece will create a meeting point where people can feel a connection with the area’s history and we hope it will draw in visitors from miles around.”
The competition for Edward Street Quarter’s public art was open to artists locally, nationally and internationally. Edward Street Quarter comprises 125,000 sq ft of flexible space for Brighton’s digital and creative sectors, as well as the wider business community, making it the largest provision of workspace to be delivered in the city since 1993.
In total 20,000 sq ft is set aside for retailers, leisure and hospitality and 168 new homes are available, including a mix of private and affordable units to meet local demand. The development features three public green spaces, heavily planted with mature trees and an edible garden full of herbs.