AAJ Press
Architecture & Design, Art & Public Space, Commissions & Projects, Sculpture

Ian McChesney. Arrival and Departure, James Square. Plymouth

Ian McChesney’s commissioned artwork for the University of Plymouth, entitled, Arrival and Departure, comprises two opposing bollard shaped forms, suggesting monuments to journeys. Each form weighs two tonnes and measures 1.7m long x 0.9m wide x 0.6m high. They were hand carved from solid blocks of granite from the De Lank Quarry in Bodmin Moor, near Plymouth. The sculptures are redolent of quayside mooring bollards to reflect the site’s maritime past. Plymouth’s nautical heritage includes Sir Francis Drake playing bowls before engaging the Spanish Armada; the point of emigration for the Pilgrim Fathers sailing on the Mayflower for America; Darwin sailed on HMS Beagle in 1831 gathering information on natural history and for his book The Voyage of the Beagle; and it was the birthplace of Robert Falcon Scott the polar explorer.

The commissions for the University at Plymouth form part of the University’s 150th year celebrations and complete James Square, a new mixed used development comprising a residential building, refectory and the new Rolle Building by David Morley Architects. To mark the unveiling, students from the University and local schools performed Moving On, a contemporary dance piece performed around and upon the piece choreographed by Gemma Kempthorne inspired by Plymouth’s maritime history and journeys. The commission was organised by Peninsula Arts, the arts and culture public programming organisation for Plymouth University.

Ian McChesney is an architect who also produces public sculpture, including rotating wind shelters for Blackpool’s promenade; Blaze a large scale piece for the A66 in Middlesbrough; Out of the Strong within the Stirling Prize nominated ‘Angel Building’ in London, which was shortlisted for the Marsh Award for Public Sculpture in 2011.

Peninsula Arts


About jeh

Jeremy Hunt is Director of the AAJ Press (Art & Architecture Journal / Press) – a writer and consultant on art and public space


3 thoughts on “Ian McChesney. Arrival and Departure, James Square. Plymouth

  1. Hmnn! my idea was for seats of learning, a place for discussion, a shelter, a meeting place..whatever, bollards, who will stop there to discuss future voyages?

    Posted by Colin Figue | October 12, 2012, 6:29 pm
  2. money for old rope?

    Posted by Colin Figue | October 12, 2012, 6:34 pm
    • I can see nobody is keen to comment on this project. As an outsider and supplicant for this commission I thought that a more poignant epitaph was in order. Surely something more suggestive of the nurturing power of the university , a meeting place, the here and now, just a shelter even. The picture says it all. Someone darting from place to place. No time for discussion, no time for assignations.

      Posted by Colin Figue | October 15, 2012, 6:42 pm

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