TITANIC KIT BY TONY STALLARD
Tony Stallard (born 26 August 1958) is an English artist, best known for his large scale public artworks in the United Kingdom and abroad, which utilise bronze, steel and light sculptures for work in the public realm.
Stallard has worked for twenty-five years in public artworks within the public realm and his work has been exhibited widely from Canada to Ireland and the Czech Republic. This work has included research and development within architectural and engineering practices, as well as processing artworks with multiple stake holders for practical engineered concepts towards public artworks.
In 2009, Stallard was selected by the Titanic Quarter and Arts And Business Northern Ireland to create a sculpture to promote the regeneration of the Titanic Quarter. A scale model of an Airfix kit, the piece was a reference to Belfast’s industrial heritage and encourages a nostalgia for the area’s shipbuilding history.
The Kit is described by Tony as “a playful reference to kit forms and toy structures…also an attempt to bring the spirit of the ship back to the beginning of her journey”. Unlike many memorials in Belfast that commemorate the victims of the Titanic, Tony Stallard described the ‘Kit’ as a “dramatic work which commemorates the great achievement that was the construction of the ship.”
It is interesting to note that Harland and Wolff, were commissioned to construct the sculpture.
The ‘Kit’ takes the form of an over-sized ‘Airfix’ model kit. It measures nearly 14 metres in height and is approximately 4 metres wide. The ‘Kit’ is fabricated from steel and bronze.
The design of the sculpture should be familiar to model-makers in the UK and Ireland [not sure about the USA], and comprises the framework (or sprue) that secures the individual components of the kit. In the manufacture of injection moulded plastic model kits the sprue is formed when molten plastic is injected into a mould. When the mould is broken open the sprue is left in place securing the individual numbered components of the model kit.
The ‘Kit’ has a number of large components, which are recognisably parts of the Titanic. These include her hull split down the middle, forming two sections, three of her four funnels and two of her three propellers. The ‘Kit’ is designed to give the impression that a number of components have already been ‘snapped off’ the sprue framework, such as the missing funnel and propeller.
The uppermost funnel is painted in the White Star Line’s buff (yellow) and black band colour scheme and the bow is painted black, with red anti-fouling paint below the waterline. The rest of the hull sections and other components are left unpainted, distinguished by their bronze patina. At night the ‘Kit’, which stands on the quayside in front of The Arc Apartments, is illuminated by purple LED lighting.