A decommissioned North Sea offshore platform is set to receive a new life as one of the UK's largest public art installations.
The 450-tonne platform is being transported on a flatbed barge as large as a football pitch to its new home at the Tropicana, a new seafront landmark at Weston-super-Mare, and lifted by crane over the seawall onto pre-constructed legs. The entire construction will be 35m tall at its highest point.
Visitors and residents will witness the transformation of See Monster, created by Newsubstance and commissioned as part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, as construction takes place over the coming weeks.
Once the installation is completed, it will be experienced from the seafront, beach and on board, and feature four publicly accessible levels animated by a 10-metre-high waterfall; a 6,000-piece kinetic installation forming the monster’s shimmering scales; an onboard oasis of grasses, plants and trees selected to thrive in a seaside micro-climate; and a seated amphitheatre and broadcast studio, forming a platform for conversations about reuse and sustainable futures.
The project is supporting the UNBOXED’s nationwide learning programme, designed for young people aged 4-19, in schools and alternative learning settings in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Students will be able to access live discussions, careers advice, lesson plans, and participate in an art and energy challenge.
Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Patrick O’Mahoney from Newsubstance, said: "We wanted to get a platform to tell new stories and what better platform than a decommissioned rig? We wanted to explore the idea of reuse - these giants are all over the world, and no-one's ever tried to do it before - and the idea of sustainable futures.
"It's like a rehabilitation - it's spent it's life taking from the earth and it's time to give back with our gardens, solar and renewable energy all part of that transformation."