The proposal submitted for the AIDS memorial commission competition
THE PROPOSAL – submitted September 2007
ROMANY MARK BRUCE
PROPOSAL – a modern, landmark sculpture that would be the centrepiece of a memorial to be flanked by seating, which would be a place of reflection and remembrance.
The New Steine could be an ideal location. The square is in close proximity to the city centre, easily reached by public transport, in the “gay village” of Kemptown. It could be an ideal location for gatherings, such as on World Aids Day.
I am an artist living and working in Brighton. I have been exhibiting sculptures and paintings, and have been involved in community arts projects for 18 years and have been an active fundraiser for HIV and Aids charities.
My work has been acquired by collectors in the USA, Australia, the Middle East, and many European countries.
The sculpture is two intertwined figures, soaring upwards. From various angles the figures would appear to touch, but never actually make contact. In silhouette they would appear in the shape of the red ribbon, which is recognised as the symbol of HIV/Aids.
The sculpture would be backlit by the sun throwing a shadow in the shape of the ribbon on the surrounding grass.
Most of those affected by HIV and Aids in Brighton and Hove, have been so as the result of the union of two men, but the disease is not confined to gay men. The two figures would not be identical; one would be male and the other androgynous, representing all those affected .The figures do not touch, but would appear to from certain angles, symbolising the union of two people the disease has affected, but whose lives may not have been connected in any other way.
The nature of HIV and Aids has changed much over the years, and the soaring figures represent hope for the future, not just the passing of lives, but optimism and a brighter future for those living with the disease.
The sculpture would be mounted on a rounded, tapering plinth, in harmony with the curves of the figures. The plinth would bear an inscription to wind around the plinth leading up to the foot of the sculpture. Local HIV and Aids charities, and interested individuals could be involved in finding an inspiring and meaningful inscription which would reach out to those affected whose lives have been affected
The sculpture would be cast in bronze. Durability, and unfortunately possible vandalism, must be considerations. Bronze is virtually indestructible, and will endure the test of time. Although a modern sculpture, the use of bronze, a traditional material, will mean that it is sympathetic to its historic surroundings in Kemptown.
The traditional methods of casting would have little effect on the environment through carbon emissions, and no ongoing implications in respect of maintenance or running costs.