Brighton, England
United Kingdom
New Steine Square 'TAY' Brighton and Hove AIDS Memorial since 9 October 2009
one name
Romany Mark Bruce writes about the highs and lows of creating Brighton’s Aids Memorial
When I first submitted my proposals for the Aids Memorial at the end of August 2007, for a modern landmark sculpture of two intertwined figures soaring upwards, little did I know that there would be so many ups and downs ahead.
After almost six months of trying to find premises large enough to accommodate the structure I was given the use of a converted cowshed deep in the Sussex countryside. An armature was built in steel, I took delivery of half a ton of clay, and in May 2008 commenced work on my biggest ever project.
After three months of hard work, one day I had that weird sense of something happening. I put my hands up to the sculpture above me and to my horror felt pressure, it was moving. I was rather alarmed and rather than make a run for it I stood there and the clay slowly fell around me in a ‘Buster Keaton-type’ fashion. Three months of very hard work, and half a ton of clay collapsed in a heap on the floor.

A new, and much improved, armature was soon up and I saw the seasons change from up a ladder, where I spent most of my time. November however saw another ‘down time’. One of the figures was not working in harmony with the other, and down came the upper body.
At the beginning of December Meridian Television visited my studio and filmed the sculpture for World Aids Day and it was featured in the lunch time and evening news.
In January 2009 I neared completion. Then the extremes in temperature upset plans. The mould makers from the foundry had been due to visit the studio in the middle of January and take the rubber mould. They cancelled due to the bad weather. Worse, however, was to come. The temperature at the farm was minus five during the day and minus 13 at night! The sculpture froze solid, and when it thawed lost all its integrity melting like chocolate. Lumps of clay began to crash down, and losing the entire sculpture was a real prospect. Luckily after days of wrapping in bubble wrap I was able to save most of the sculpture, and after several weeks of restoration the mould makers were able to take the mould.
The mould is now at the foundry, and the bronze should be poured in the summer. Hopefully the Memorial will go up in the New Steine in the autumn of 2009, and stay up!
Photo © Romano Mark Bruce latest7

April 2009
Romany Mark Bruce, Brighton