Decision time for the Northumberland sculpture bigger than Gormley’s Angel

Three artists have submitted proposals to Lord Devonport of Northumberland for a landmark which will celebrate Queen Elizabeth II and The Commonwealth

After a month of exhibitions in which artists Simon Hitchens, Colin Rose and Peter J. Evans have created proposals for a dramatic piece of public sculpture, Lord Devonport will now select one successful artist to take the proposal forward which will become a destination for tourism in rural Northumberland.

The project, entitled The Elizabeth Landmark, is the brainchild of Lord Devonport, architect and landscape architect, known in Northumberland for his regeneration of the Ray Estate rebuilding farms, creating livestock shelters and replanting thousands of native trees.

Lord Devonport said: "As longest serving Monarch of 66 years Queen Elizabeth has moved theCommonwealth into an equal and voluntary group of states, which share language, history and culture that unifies them under values of democracy and free speech." 

With some 1,000 people visiting and leaving comments through the project website and some 300 people participating in the local exhibitions and discussions at Kirkwhelpington, Otterburn and West Woodburn – the time has now come to take the project to the next phase.

The inspiration for the project, which will encompass a landmark as well as walking trails, is the reign of Queen Elizabeth II and the way in which she has led The Commonwealth since her Coronation in 1952 and performed her duties as monarch for sixteen Commonwealth countries. The landmark will celebrate unity, diversity and the shared heritage between The Commonwealth of Nations that has flourished under Queen Elizabeth II. 

The Elizabeth Landmark will seek to create a 60m high structure which will be situated atop Cold Law, a domed hill on Lord Devonport’s Ray Estate, surrounded by the parishes of Corsenside, Otterburn, Bavington, Kirkwelpington, and Elsdon.

The landmark itself will be part of a wider experience, including a purpose-built car park, visitor information hub and a walking trail around the landscape. The walking trail will incorporate literary installation pieces by artists, writers and poets from the local community and from across The Commonwealth.

The artists vying to secure the commission are Colin Rose based near Alnwick, Peter J. Evans based in Newcastle, and Simon Hitchens, based in the West Country.

Lord Devonport said of the proposals, “Each present something completely different, offering creative interpretations of my initial idea for The Elizabeth Landmark. All three proposals are of an incredibly high standard and it will not be an easy decision to make.” 

It is expected that Lord Devonport will seek to select an artist in July, after which, it is estimated that some twelve months of planning and development will be required before the exact design and cost, of The Elizabeth Landmark, and its surrounding walking trails, can be confirmed.

“Our ambition is to create a long-lasting, proud monument that will draw visitors from around the world for many, many hundreds of years to come. To do this, we will need not only an investment of funds but also of resource and expertise. We will work with the chosen artist to build a team and develop a plan for funding throughout 2018. All being well, we will bring The Elizabeth Landmark to life in 2019.”