The main feature of the project for the new entrance to the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, built in 2010 and inaugurated in February 2011, is a pair of 18m tall columns. The original planning permission for the columns included two sculptures to be erected on top of them.
Due to lack of funds, the idea of launching a competition to create proposals for the sculptures was abandoned as the cost of running the competition alone exceeded fifteen thousand Pounds.
However, at Lambeth Council request, a new design for the artwork on top of the columns has been proposed. The two figures here submitted for public consultation are designed by Paola Piglia (an international artist who lives and works locally and is a member of FoVPG) and were originally part of the invitation to the opening of the entrance and were later incorporated into the logo for the Gardens.
They represent a 18th century lady from the historical Pleasure Gardens reaching towards a contemporary young man, who in turn is offering her a flower, thus establishing a dialogue between the Gardens' glorious past and the present.
At the moment the proposed design entails silhouettes laser-cut in fluorescent acrylic and lit at night for maximum effect. The design will be adjusted to consider safety and wind factor and the details of the proposed statues will be submitted to planning and building control for approval. Lambeth Council and Vauxhall One are looking into funding the project with money that has already been allocated for public art.
The Committee of the Friends of Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens has unanimously approved of the design. Here are their comments:
'Our committee has been formatted to represent as wide a view of the local area and our near neighbours and business representatives as possible; in this way our ideas and plans will have a built-in local community, and council approval as we progress with solutions to the park's needs and aspirations. Our logo at the moment (which has been widely praised by the local council) is being re-elaborated as sculptures on top of our 'landmark' columns. This design, executed by Paola Piglia, (on a pro bono basis) will at last see figures on top of the pillars to finalise 'The Friends'vision of 'art-in-the-park' and at a very reasonable cost to Lambeth Council and some minimal funding from private donations.'
Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or go in to the Tea House Theatre to look at the model and jot down your views in the comment box.
From the Friends of Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens