Eve Shepherd to Sculpt Emily Williamson
Eve Shepherd has won the public vote and will create the statue of Emily Williamson.
Over 12,000 people from across the world voted in the competition with Eve a clear winner.
"I’m deeply honoured to be chosen to create the Emily Williamson statue for Fletcher Moss Park, Manchester and the bird loving community. I feel very humbled and privileged to sculpt such an important pioneer and Eco- activist. She was an incredible visionary, a quiet, yet stoic woman, who stood against the norms of her day. She co-created a legacy, the RSPB, a charity that has saved countless bird lives and protected precious natural habitats for future generations to enjoy.
In my eyes Emily is a shining beacon of how we can save our fragile ecosystem in these unprecedented times.
Emily Williamson was one of those amazing women who has been forgotten because of her gender. This statue will be a triumph, a milestone, for how far we have come to balance the scales of equality for women within public sculpture, though we still have some distance to go. I am so very delighted and excited to have been selected to be part of this!
…And I a big thank you to the committee, to all who took the time to vote for the 4 maquette designs, and to my other 3 talented sculptor sisters, who’s designs didn’t make it this time, well done!"
Selection Committee Chair Andrew Simcock commented:
“We had four high quality entries on this shortlist. On behalf of the Selection Committee I’d like to thank Clare Abbatt, Billie Bond and Laury Dizengremel for their massive contribution to this contest. Their designs all polled well with the public and it is telling that less than 1% of those voting said ‘none of the above’.
As I toured the four countries of the UK visiting RSPB reserves with the maquettes there was tremendous engagement with the designs. Eve’s, in particular, was a big hit with children. There was a real sense of their delight as they realised how many birds were present in Emily’s skirt.
Many congratulations to Eve and I really look forward to working with her to create this statue of Emily Williamson.”
Tessa Boase, who has done so much to bring this project to life, said:
“Sculptor Eve Shepherd is renowned for the depth of her research, and her iconoclastic approach to public artwork. Her statue of Emily Williamson will be an inspiring monument not just to a woman, but to the beauty and vulnerability of birdlife.
If we want the next generation to cherish nature and to safeguard biodiversity, we need to engage young minds and hearts – through telling stories. This statue will contain a multitude of stories and species, drawing the viewer back again and again. Shepherd's proposed use of augmented reality technology to enhance interpretation will bring an exciting extra dimension.
We couldn’t be more thrilled with the public’s choice of statue to stand in Fletcher Moss Park, Emily Williamson’s garden.”
The hard work now begins! Raising the money is always the most difficult part of any statue campaign. As part of this Eve has agreed to create a limited edition of twenty bronze maquettes of her design for sale to the public. To express an interest in owning one of these beautiful works of art whilst playing your part in funding the statue itself please contact Andrew.