Beacon

BRONZE SCULPTURE FOR SADBERGE

Plaque

Survey results

See below for the background to the Parish Council's survey of Sadberge residents' views on a possible option for a bronze sculpture for the village green.

The results of the survey were as follows:-

Go for "The Thinker", even though it doesn't have
any obvious connection with Sadberge.
6 13%
Keep looking fore something more suitable, accepting    
that it's possible that nothing ever turns up.
  30     64%  
Give up on the idea of a bronze sculpture on the
village green.
11 23%

In line with the wishes of the Sadberge community, the donor has asked Alastair Mackenzie to keep looking for something suitable for Sadberge village green.

As the cost of commissioning an original sculpture – or even a copy of an existing sculpture – is prohibitively high (see below), this basically means that Alastair will keep an eye on eBay to see if anyone is selling a "pre-owned" bronze sculpture of a suitable subject.  We need to accept that this is a bit of a long shot.  The chances of a suitable pre-owned sculture coming up for sale on eBay are not high.


Overview

A Sadberge resident (who wishes to remain anonymous) has offered to provide funding for a bronze sculpture for the village green.

The donor's aim is "to make Sadberge even more special", and his preference is for the sculpture to be a life size human figure.  No definite budget has been set, but the indication is "up to about £10,000".

Note: The money is not available to be diverted to other uses.  The donor is ""not in the business of plugging gaps in facilities or services that should be provided by the Borough Council, the Parish Council, the Village Hall Committee, etc."

History

Over the last two and a half years the Clerk to Sadberge Parish Council has spent quite a lot of time investigating possible options.

The ideal would be to get an artist to create a bespoke sculpture relevant to the history and/or character of Sadberge.  For example, in past years some of the older villagers used to sit out under the oak tree in the centre of Sadberge on warm evenings, so one option would be a sculpture of an elderly man sitting on the bench that encircles the tree trunk.  Unfortunately, the Clerk's enquiries revealed that the cost of such a bespoke sculpture would be about £45,000 + VAT.

The Clerk then investigated the possibility of getting a copy of an existing sculpture with the right sort of character.  Unfortunately, this would have cost about £25,000 + VAT.

The Clerk has also checked the Chinese online trading site Alibaba so see if it might be possible to import a sculpture from China, but couldn't find anything suitable.

The current situation

For the last fifteen months, the Clerk has been keeping an eye open for any suitable second-hand sculptures coming up for sale on eBay.  A number of "interesting" sculptures have come up – e.g. Winston Churchill sitting on a bench, a pair of Cavaliers from the Civil War, a samurai warrior (!) – but, until recently, nothing suitable has appeared.

The Clerk has now found an opportunity to buy a large scale reproduction of Rodin's sculpture "The Thinker" at a significant discount to the normal price.

See the photographs on the right.  The sculpture has been cast in bronze using the "lost wax" method.  It's 71" high x 59" wide x 38" deep.  There is more information about Rodin's original work on Wikipedia.

This isn't quite what we were originally looking for, but The Thinker is a very famous work of art, and it would certainly be quite a feature in the centre of the village.  On the other hand, it has no direct connection with Sadberge and some people have suggested that it would be more appropriate for the grounds of a museum or a university rather than a rural village green.

To help the Parish Council and the donor to decide how best to proceed, a flyer has been sent out to Sadberge households asking residents to indicate their views on whether we should:-

  • go for The Thinker, even though it doesn't have any obvious connection with Sadberge; or
  • keep looking for something more suitable, accepting that it's possible that nothing will ever turn up; or
  • give up on the idea of getting a bronze sculpture for the village green.

If you would like any further information, please contact the Clerk to the Parish Council, Alastair Mackenzie, via 07966-312980.

You can use this link to go to the Sadberge web site home page.

Bronze sculpture – The Thinker

Bronze sculpture – The Thinker

Bronze sculpture – Close-up of face

Bronze sculpture – Close-up of face