Dorset Council is working to install a collection of sculptural artworks in Weymouth, designed to encourage people to explore the town and reveal its history and relationship with water.
Weymouth Art Trail will feature a series of six sculptural installations at a variety of locations around the town, including some lesser-known spots. The artworks will be connected by a walking trail, which is around a mile long and designed to be accessible. Water refill units have also been installed along the route by Wessex Water to discourage the use of single use plastics.
Six artists were chosen to design and create the artworks for the trail by members of the council’s Arts Advisory Panel, supported by B-Side curators. The artworks use a wide range of materials, techniques, approaches, and interpretations to tell the story of the town’s history and connection to water, as well as exploring current and future challenges.
Cllr Laura Miller, Portfolio Holder for Customer and Community Services, said:
“This is a fantastic project which aims to showcase Weymouth’s fascinating history and its relationship to water, from the beautiful sandy bay and backwater wetlands, bursting with wildlife, to the iconic working harbour.
“As well as improving visitor experience and drawing people to discover new places in Weymouth, we hope it will encourage conversation around the present and future challenges which face the town.”
Cllr Tony Ferrari, Portfolio Holder for Economic Growth, Assets and Property, said:
“Many coastal towns have used art as one of the themes driving economic regeneration and development. Dorset Council is delighted to be part of this project to enhance the street interest in the town.”
Cllr Colin Huckle, Mayor of Weymouth, said:
“Weymouth Town Council is delighted to lend its support to this creative take on the town’s rich history. The sculptures each tell their own story about Weymouth’s relationship with water and the sea, and I hope that they will inspire people to stop and reflect on this history. The trail will also provide a great opportunity for residents and visitors to explore Weymouth with a different perspective.”
Each sculpture will be located at a site which is significant to the stories that inspired them. Three of the installations will also offer a functional element, providing welcome seating for people to pause and take in the views and environment at the chosen locations.
As many of the sites for the trail will be in a conservation area, the design team has engaged with both planning and conservation teams to accommodate local planning requirements and respect the intricacies of the Weymouth Town Centre Conservation Area, existing buildings and the surrounding landscape.
The project has been funded by Dorset Council, Weymouth Town Council and Arts Council England and is being delivered by Dorset Council’s Place Services, in collaboration with B Side – creative producers. The sculptures are currently being installed across Weymouth, with the first three pieces already in place.
The trail is expected to be completed in December this year, with a programme of events around the trail to be planned in 2022.