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Floating sculpture on Sheffield & Tinsley Canal gets thumbs up

Planning permission granted for ambitious artwork by Alex Chinneck.

Artists impression of a culpture of a boat that loops around itself

We are delighted to confirm that a new floating sculpture by internationally renowned artist Alex Chinneck has been granted planning permission.

The ambitious new commission will be installed on the Tinsley Flight, close to Tinsley Marina later this year and is the first time the artist has embarked on a floating artwork.

Sculpted into a loop-de-loop from rolled steel, the impressive full-sized canal boat artwork will incorporate signwriting and traditional canal boat colours, celebrating the history of Tinsley, Sheffield’s historic waterways and the city’s industrial heritage.

A city shaped by its historic waterways

A city shaped by its historic waterways, the canal is popular with boaters, paddlers, walkers and cyclists. The design and location of the artwork has been carefully considered to retain usual boating navigation while developing the canal as a visitor destination.

Positioned between locks 4 and 5 of Sheffield & Tinsley Canal, the waterway will serve as a gallery space for the sculpture, enabling the loop-de-loop work will be able to be viewed from 180 degrees, either from on the water or from the canal and will also protect the navigation channel.

The planning application for the artwork was submitted by artist Alex Chinneck on behalf of the Tinsley Art Project Board, which includes Sheffield City Council, E.ON, British Land, Tinsley Forum, Canal & River Trust and Yorkshire Water.

Co-funded by British Land and by energy company E.ON, who committed to creating a public artwork as part of its redevelopment of the Blackburn Meadows site, the artwork is welcomed by us.

Bringing new interest to the canals

Sean McGinley, our regional director for Yorkshire & North East, said: “At a time when keeping our amazing canals alive for future generations to enjoy is more important than ever. Alex’s remarkable floating sculpture will help to bring new interest and focus to the canal and add to the existing art trail, developed during the 200th anniversary celebrations of Sheffield & Tinsley Canal in 2019.”

Alex said: “We’re as excited as ever to deliver our third artwork for Tinsley. This is a positive step in an ambitious direction.”

Graham Whitfield, Tinsley Forum, said: “We are looking forward to seeing Alex’s vision and our ideas becoming a reality. It will be fantastic for the area to have this unusual and playful addition that will help to inspire young and old to have an interest in art, health and the local waterways, whilst transforming an area of Sheffield, where there is a lack of public art.”

Discovering the waterways

Diana Buckley, Director of Economy, Skills and Culture at Sheffield City Council, said: “The newly approved designs for this public artwork in Tinsley are bold and ambitious. Not only do they celebrate the history of the area perfectly, but they also encourage the discovery and enjoyment of the waterway. We hope that once unveiled, local people, and visitors alike, will enjoy and learn from the new sculpture.” Chris Lovatt, Chief Operating Officer for Energy Infrastructure Solutions at E.ON, added: “We committed to funding a public artwork that reflects the industrial past of Sheffield as part of our redevelopment of the Blackburn Meadows site into the renewable energy plant that serves the city today. This is a project that’s been a few years in the making and we can’t wait to see it come to fruition.”

Alex Chinneck has been working in the area for seven years and has created multiple artworks in Tinsley during that time, including a sculpture of a car hanging upside down, creating the illusion that was visited by more than 5,000 people over five days.

In 2019, Alex returned to Tinsley with a new sculpture – a knotted post box, which was temporarily installed on a residential street outside Tinsley Meadows Primary Academy.

Kingfisher in flight with small fish in its beak

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Last Edited: 16 May 2024

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