WATCH: Miniature model of Kevin Beattie statue design is revealed
PUBLISHED: 07:00 06 September 2019
The first pictures have been revealed of a model on which the statue of Ipswich Town’s greatest ever player, Kevin Beattie, will be based
Thousands of Ipswich Town fans have helped fund the statue, thanks to a campaign led by the East Anglian Daily Times, Ipswich Star, BBC Radio Suffolk and independent Ipswich Town website TWTD.
It was announced last week the appeal, which was set at £110,000 had reached its target in just eight months.
Now Suffolk sculptor Sean Hedges-Quinn has revealed the maquette - a small first model of the design.
And here, Sean, who also completed the statues of Sir Alf Ramsey and Sir Bobby Robson, explains the project so far:
How did you approach the design?
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?
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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 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.
I now push on to scaling him up and being able to show the rest of Ipswich what I have been doing for over a year.
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 brussel 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 recognizable.
After I have sculpted the Beat (around 5 months), he will then be moulded and then sent to a bronze foundry were he will be cast in bronze (around 8-10 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.
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