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Not a one horse race

PUBLISHED: 16:25 02 July 2008 | UPDATED: 09:54 23 August 2010

Dartford
07-05-08
Ebbsfleet station
Unveiling of five sculptures 
Mark Whiteread with his White Horse

Dartford 07-05-08 Ebbsfleet station Unveiling of five sculptures Mark Whiteread with his White Horse

THOUSANDS of people have chosen the sculpture they would like to see as a 150ft landmark in the Ebbbsfleet Valley. Just one month on since designs for The Angel of the South competition were unveilled organisers say they are staggered by the response

THOUSANDS of people have chosen the sculpture they would like to see as a 150ft landmark in the Ebbbsfleet Valley.

Just one month on since designs for 'The Angel of the South' competition were unveilled organisers say they are staggered by the response of local people, with as many as 800 a day giving their choice for the £2 million sculpture.

Bluewater shopping centre is home to a special exhibition containing the five scaled down models which their designers hope will be chosen for the landmark. A centre spokesman said "The response has been fantastic, way beyond even the most optimistic expectations of the organisers. It really seems to have captured people's imaginations. A preliminary count shows there is no clear front runner."

The five sculptures include Horsa, by 2007 Turner Prize winner Mark Wallinger. His design comes from the 6th century Anglo-Saxon leader Horsa who landed in Thanet, creating the white horse symbol for Kent. Wallinger's artistic interest in race horses goes back two decades and his sculpture will be a thoroughbred in classic repose.

Tamsin Selby, for project manager Futurecity, said: "The Ebbsfleet Landmark project is the subject of one of the largest and most extensive public engagement exercises ever undertaken for an art project. Up to half a million visitors a week go to Bluewater and thousands of them have expressed their views on comment cards. These are being collated and are part of the presentation for the expert review panel to consider when they make their decision about the choice of artwork."

Other designs include Daniel Buren's Signal, using a laser pointing skywards surrounded by a pyramid of hollow cubes. Surrounded by mirrors at its base, visitors get an evolving image of themselves as they draw closer.

Richard Deacon's Nest is a steel lattice of 26 polyhedrons, each offering a different window into a Kent backdrop. Wing and Disc, by Christopher Le Brun, has strong pagan links, making use of natural light changes with the wing creating different shadows in a sun dial effect.

Rachel Whitbread has designed Recycled Mountain, an interior of a house sitting on top of a mountain made from rocks found in North Kent. The winning design will be built in Springhead Park, funded by Eurostar, London and Continental Railways and Land Securities. Visitors can vote until the exhibition closes on August 25. The winner, judged by an independent panel, is due to be announced in mid-September.

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