University plays host to sculpture that is Heaven Sent

A striking sculpture designed to be a symbol of hope in troubled times will be on show at the University of Plymouth from March 4-9.

Heaven Sent is the latest piece of work created by Simon Ruscoe, Senior Technician (Casting and Moulding) in the University’s Faculty of Arts and Humanities.

It will be sited on a plinth in the Roland Levinsky Building, with donations being collected for the NSPCC as well as a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to allow more figures to be added to the sculpture in future.

Simon has been making pieces for over 20 years, creating and building a substantial body of work often charged with controversial themes and emotive narratives. His giant metal sculptures have been exhibited across the south west and in London. He said:

“For me, Heaven Sent is a pivotal piece. It underpins my creative ethos in a remarkable way in that it is oppositional to the bleak subject matter found in my previous work. However, funding from the Kickstarter campaign is crucial to its completion, as while the figure of the mother and child on display can stand alone, I would like to raise enough funding to sculpt two additional life-size figures that will appear to float alongside. This will thread together the collective sculpture’s full narrative, and result in Heaven Sent being a final imposing sculpture which will stand 14ft in height.”

Simon is no stranger to siting large works. One of his previous pieces, Only Hope Remains, was a 20ft steel sculpture exhibited throughout Devon during March 2013. The figures on display depicted a reaction to injustices in society, reflecting tensions and troubles that exist in our times.

His plasterwork series of sculptures are carved in plaster of paris over a steel armature, with detailed areas such as the faces first created in clay then cast and added separately. Simon developed a process where the plaster is infused with a specific liquid resin cocktail and, once cured, it produces a hardness similar to stone.

Writer and Editor Dr Sally Flint, speaking about Simon’s sculptures, said:

“They are thought-provoking, disquieting and memorable. He is unafraid to take on contentious themes. It will be interesting to see Heaven Sent on display as a way to aid this series of work reaching completion while benefitting an applicable charity, the NSPCC.”

Alison Armer, Community Fundraising Manager at NSPCC for Devon and Cornwall, said:

“I was delighted when Simon contacted me to say that he would like the NSPCC to benefit from donations received from the public, during the time that his Heaven Sent sculpture will be on display. I am sure there will be many who will be impressed and moved by the beautiful sculpture, and hopefully show their appreciation and support for the NSPCC, by making a donation in the box.”

To back the campaign or find more information about Ruscoe’s work visit www.ruscoe.info.

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