Dream Sculpture

I have to admit that on the whole I love public art. I remember writing my thesis on the purpose of public art and trying to get to the bottom of whether the artist truly created the work for the ‘public’. Ever since then I’ve been hooked, on a trip back to the UK a number of years ago I had been told that the small town I grew up in had commissioned artist Jaume Plensa to create a piece for an area that had gone to ruin. Sutton Manor a coal mining area of St.Helens had slowly deteriorated after the closure of the colliery in 1991.


In more recent time the idea for some sort of monument was raised in the local community. Now when you have grown up in quite a conservative place and you hear the word ‘monument’ you immediately think of marble with a whole load of names engraved! Well I stand corrected, the local community wanted to recognise the past and the history of the coal mining town, while also looking forward to the future through new eyes and so the work of art  ‘Dream’ was born. I absolutely love this, using art to unite a community to say ‘yes this is what we where, but now look what we can be’. I’m slightly biased as this is a work I thought I would never see in a million years in St.Helens but this is my favourite piece of public art to date. For more information visit dream St.Helens

This blog entry has been inspired by the piece has just landed in the Tane Design in box, it’s a work entitled ‘Gale’ and it’s 100km’s from Melbourne in Leonard’s Hill. On an equal scale to ‘Dream’ but on a slightly different medium, Jenny Tranter from ‘The State of Green’ explains further………

Have you ever cast your eyes upon a landscape full of white wind turbines. Rising like white asparagus spears from the earth, it is truly a captivating vision.  Just 100km from Melbourne in Leonard’s Hill, is Australia’s first community run wind farm. Hosting just two wind turbines, they pack a punch producing enough renewable energy to service all the houses in the local community, with a bit left over too.  As if this was not enough of a stand out feature, Hepburn Wind recently engaged talented local artist Ghost Patrol to create a unique larger than life mural upon Turbine 1. The mural named Gale was completed just two days ago. fittingly,  the final touches were hampered slightly by gale force winds that roared through as her image came to life!


Gale was opened to the public last weekend as part of Melbourne’s Sustainable Living Festival which has just commenced. Gale celebrates just one element of ways we can live a more sustainable lifestyle. Over the next two weeks there are many more fabulous events on around town – To get involved and inspired, check out their Guide!

Dream by Gary Pennington of  Tane Furniture Design

Gale by Jenny Tranter of The State of Green

2 Responses to “Public Art With a Purpose”

  1. gary conley

    Hi Gary. Hope you are well. Thank you for your wonderful comments about Dream. I am so glad you liked it. Myself and the other miners from Sutton Manor took a great risk when we helped choose Dream, but we could see that Dream would hold all future aspirations and hopes for the next generations. Your mother I believe worked with Brian Salkeld who was a major part of our ‘Dream Team’ of former miners. They sent me this link. I enclose some further links for you to look at, this includes the TV series featuring Dream called ‘Big Art’ and the other is a site called ‘Sutton Beauty’ which tells the grass roots story behind the sculpture and some really good old photographs of the colliery.

    Gary Conley.


    • tanedesign

      Hi Gary,

      Thanks so much for your comments. I’ve actually just got back from a trip home and took every opportunity to drive down the M62 to see Dream.
      Hopefully there will be an article published in The Star about ‘Dream’ as someone from the paper contacted me about what I had written and asked for some further information 🙂
      I hope the community get fully behind this truly wonderful sculpture, as it is such a fantastic achievement for the the town. I must say congratulations to you and the other miners for taking a massive gamble with the project, I think over time you and the town will be fully rewarded for all your efforts and vision.
      Keep in touch



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