Weston-super-Mare See Monster art installation arrives

  • Published
Media caption,

The North Sea platform was brought along the Bristol Channel to Weston

A decommissioned North Sea platform has arrived at its seaside destination where it will be transformed into a public art piece.

The Weston-super-Mare See Monster was transported on a flatbed barge as large as a football pitch to the Tropicana.

The art project aims to create conversations about sustainability.

Newsubstance, one of the groups behind the installation, said the "world-first project" is an "ambitious feat of design".

Image source, See Monster
Image caption,
Once the installation is complete visitors will be able to explore on board and look at the structure from the seafront

The entire construction will be 35m tall - 15m taller than the Angel of the North and just 11m shy of Nelson's Column.

Organisers said it will feature four levels animated by a waterfall, a 6,000-piece kinetic installation forming the monster's shimmering scales, an onboard green oasis and a seated amphitheatre and broadcast studio.

Executive member for placemaking and economy at North Somerset Council, Mark Canniford said: "North Somerset Council have worked closely with Newsubstance throughout the project and we are excited that See Monster is on its way.

"Weston has been reimagining itself over the last four or five years and this is the sort of thing that gets the message out there internationally.

"This is a really big stamp that we've been able to attract. The idea of bringing this back and showing people how this can be of benefit and the lessons that could be learned is fantastic."

Image source, Ben Birchall
Image caption,
The installation is being set up at the town's Tropicana
Image source, Ben Birchall
Image caption,
The structure was transported on a barge the size of a football pitch

The 450-tonne platform was brought over from the Netherlands and arrived in Weston-super-Mare bay in the early hours of this morning.

Newsubstance founder, Patrick O'Mahony, said the team is "not shy about the fact that the project is little later than planned".

"Being a [world] first is always hard," he said.

"With that comes delays, challenges, we had to get all of the international permits right."

He added: "These giants are all over the world and no one has ever tried to do this before.

"It's like a rehabilitation. It's spent its life taking from the earth and now it's time for it to give back."

Image source, Ben Birchall
Image caption,
The completed structure will include a 10-metre-high waterfall
Image source, Ben Birchall
Image caption,
People will be able to watch the different phases of construction from the beach front

The installation forms part of Unboxed: Creativity in the UK, which features 10 separate projects that draw on science, technology, engineering and maths.

A phased opening at the Tropicana is expected to begin during August bank holiday.

Follow BBC West on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Send your story ideas to: bristol@bbc.co.uk

Related Internet Links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.