Nerves of Steel, Rotherham 'Steelo'
Dinnington Youth Centre
Painted and bare mild steel, poppies
1670 x 520 x 1640mm
The results of a Heritage Lottery funded public art project,
'Nerves of Steel', have just been unveiled in Rotherham highlighting
the role of the local steel industry during WW2.
I have been working with three youth groups, each of whose
buildings now have a permanently sited public art work titled
'Steelo'. All members of the youth groups also contributed to
the sculpture currently being shown at Clifton Park Museum titled
'It's Alive'. It focuses on the 1940 story in which a baby miracously
survived a bomb-blast, even though the cot was peppered with
shards of glass.
The three 'Steelo' sculptures, nearly identical, take their form
from the nickname of the former steel workers 'Steelo's' and the
steel O is divided into sections referencing the fact that the
famous WW2 Bailey Bridge was designed is Sheffield by Sir Donald
Coleman. Astride the bridge like form is a female 'buffer', one of
thousands of women who worked in the cutlery polishing businesses
during the war, seen drawing steel from the molten pools below.
Each year red poppies will grow around the sculptures adding a
poignant reminder of the lives changed by war.
Montgomery Hall, Wath-upon-Dearn
Chislett Youth Centre, Kimberworth
Made locally in steel, these sculptures are a tribute to and
celebration of local skills, resources and ambition using ideas
from young people.