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'Messenger' UK's Biggest Bronze!

Nov. 26, 2018

Well hallelujah! Size isn't everything, but how great that this new sculpture in Plymouth will be the country's biggest bronze - and it will be a woman. The 7m (23ft) sculpture, called 'Messenger', will be installed outside the Theatre Royal.

Sculptor Joseph Hillier was inspired to create it by an actor rehearsing Shakespeare's Othello at the theatre. He said its name refers to the "pivotal" role of a performer to "breathe life into words". The sculpture, commissioned by the theatre, has a working title of Bianca after the character whose "split-second pose" is the basis for the piece.

"This work offers a young, powerful woman, a potent force about to transform the world by her actions," Mr Hillier said."The actor ...carries a message...It's a metaphor for what great theatre does".

'Messenger', will be unveiled next year in front of the Theatre Royal. It will be so huge that when he is lying down the sculptor is the same size as one of its feet.

He told the Press Association that the piece will be the largest bronze sculpture in the UK by volume  – at 25.6 metres cubed and will weigh nine and a half tonnes. Speaking on Radio 4 Hillier said that when he looked around Plymouth he saw so many statues of men that he decided to choose a woman for his subject.