Model of Beattie Statue Unveiled
Friday, 6th Sep 2019 07:00
Pictures of the model on which the final statue of Blues legend Kevin Beattie will be based can be revealed for the first time today.
Last week, it was confirmed that The Beat Goes On fundraising campaign, led by the EADT and Ipswich Star in conjunction with BBC Radio Suffolk and TWTD, had hit its target
The statue, which is being sculpted by Sean Hedges-Quinn, known as Coach who was responsible for those of Sir Alf Ramsey and Sir Bobby Robson, is expected to be ready next the spring. It will stand on Portman Road just along from Beattie’s mentor Robson towards Planet Blue.
As part of the process of sculpting the statue Hedges-Quinn, a Town season ticket holder, has created a maquette – a small first model of the design - upon which he will base his final piece.
Sean outlines how he has gone about getting to this stage and what he has to do in the months to come.
It was important to me to capture the very essence of The Beat. Right from the off, I had every intention in my mind to capture the grace, power and athletic agility of a wonderful player. Having a standard standing pose (ball at feet/ball in arm etc) like many other footballing statues around the UK was never going to be an option.
Speaking to many people who witnessed him play in his pomp, the one overriding observation that most people commented on was this extraordinary leap that he possessed when heading the ball. I decided that was the pose I wished to create.
What were the biggest challenges?
The challenges were numerous! I had to create a statue of great weight, balance and movement; a statue that looked like and felt like a great tribute to The Beat and to come up with a unique idea to the problem of suspending him in mid air without any apparent support. This on top of pleasing 20,000-plus ITFC supporters with very high expectations!
What were the first things you were trying to achieve with the design?
Being an ITFC season ticket holder and Ipswich boy through and through, I really wanted everyone in my home town to be proud of what ever I produced. The one thing I really was trying to achieve was something different from the norm, something unique.
How pleased are you with the results?
I am delighted with how the maquette has turned out and very happy and thrilled that the people close to Kevin Beattie seem to share that delight.
Emma Beattie [his daughter and a member of The Beat Goes On committee] was quite overwhelmed and has expressed to me how she felt it was a beautiful and perfect representation of her father. For me that was not only of course a relief but also the best I response I could ask for.
The statue committee also gave me a little standing ovation which was also rather nice.
You have previously stated that the head is the least important aspect at this stage.
As you can imagine, the head of my maquette is smaller than a Brussels sprout and his eyes are the size of a grain of rice. Getting a spot on likeness is very difficult at that scale.
I always aim to get a good resemblance but a good likeness at this early stage is not a priority. What is much more important is getting the balance, weight, flow and look right.
Does the pose work from all angles and not just one? Is it a pleasing aesthetically for the observer? Does the pose work as a stand alone subject? These are the questions I ask at this stage.
I can also at the maquette stage make minor changes if it is required by third parties. ie move an arm easily, turn his head slightly etc.
A facial likeness is very much the most important aspect when the full scale statue is completed but at this stage not so.
What is the process now?
The next stage is to now start sculpting the full scaled-up version of Kevin Beattie.
This I start by creating a steel armature which in turn supports the clay that I am using to sculpt The Beat. A separate removable head will be sculpted so that I can get a good portrait likeness.
The portrait of The Beat will need a lot of concentration as he will be pulling a funny, determined ‘heading the ball’ face but at the same time still be instantly recognisable.
After I have sculpted The Beat (around five months), he will then be moulded and then sent to a bronze foundry were he will be cast in bronze (around eight to 10 weeks), ready for an unveiling in the spring.
I am hoping to start the scaled up version on Monday and really can’t wait to get going. It really is an absolute privilege to be doing this. I consider myself very lucky to have been asked and I will thrive to produce a wonderful and fitting tribute to a great, great player.
Photos: Sarah Lucy Brown/Archant/TWTD
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