New statue of Agatha Christie for Torquay in the revival of the port
Agatha Christie – still ranked the world’s best-selling author of all time – is to be celebrated in her hometown of Devon with a new work of art.
The Queen of Crime was born, raised and married in Torquay and then returned to Devon where she had her summer home on the banks of the River Dart in Greenway.
Now Torbay Council is looking for an artist who can ‘capture the spirit of Agatha Christie, her life and her work’ in a permanent work of art that will be part of the funded Torquay Harbor renovation. through the £ 21million grant from the government’s Towns Fund.
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Torbay marked the author’s life with walking trails, heritage plaques and a bust near Cary Green. It is home to the Agatha Christie International Festival.
But sadly, his childhood home, Ashfield at Barton Road, was demolished in 1962 and replaced with a small estate of bungalows and apartments. The large Victorian villa set in two acres of gardens overlooked Torquay.
The Torbay Board and the partners of Agatha Christie Limited now want to ensure that a larger and permanent reminder of the Bay’s most famous girl is created for residents and visitors to enjoy and visit for generations to come.
Councilor Swithin Long, Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, Tourism and Housing, Torbay Council, said; “We are proud to have such an iconic author associated with our bay and look forward to celebrating this with a permanent work of art along Torquay Harbor. We hope that the statue will create real excitement and something that will be admired by our residents and visitors ”.
The new artwork will be created and installed as part of the port renewal and improvement program. This project is fully funded and developed under the Central Government Towns Fund investment.
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This call is open to all artists. Expressions of interest from artists and creative practitioners who have local knowledge and experience will be particularly welcome.
Councilor Mike Morey, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture for Torbay Council, said: “This is an exciting project that is part of our important ongoing regeneration program. Torbay is committed to encouraging community engagement, an approach that has been developed through our cultural programming over the past few years. The goal of this project is to enable the bay public to get involved and share ideas, with the final design determined through a public engagement process. We are really looking forward to seeing creative and innovative ideas emerge ”.
The final selected work must capture the spirit of Agatha Christie, her life and her work. Torbay City Council is especially keen to see ideas emerge that see her as a woman who lived and worked here, who had multiple interests and passions, including the outdoors, nature, people and places. The artwork will be located outside, therefore open to the elements and accessible to the public. The final piece should take this into account in the design.
Artists interested in this commission should respond through the Torbay Council electronic tendering portal by October 18. Click here to learn more about the application and selection process.
Dame Agatha Christie is the world’s most published author. His books have been printed in over 100 languages and sold over two billion volumes. His writing has inspired hundreds of films and television productions, and his plays continue to be performed.
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