A giant, £2 million sculpture that looks like a train crash has been shortlisted be installed outside a Birmingham railway station. Battered engines lie on their side as if they have come off the rails in a terrible accident. And although the sculpture would be modelled in stone, they could look like they are covered in human skin. Birmingham artist Roger Hiorns' creation is one of five vying for pride of place outside Curzon Street Station.
Plans for the as yet un-titled sculpture have been shortlisted by judges of the Birmingham Big Art Project to find an iconic piece of public art for the city.
Organisers say they want a sculpture “that is high quality, innovative, permanent and low in maintenance for Birmingham that will gain international recognition and put the city on the world’s cultural map”.
They say the sculpture was not designed to look like a train crash at all.
Gavin Wade, chairman of the Birmingham Big Art Project panel, said: "It is not intended to be a train crash. It is more of a landscape which has been changed by technology.
He will take train engines and 3D scan them, then twist and morph the image to come up with a surreal and quite beautiful landscape.
He’s a very provocative artist and his proposal is already receiving a response from people who are intrigued by it. That’s what we want."
Hiorns describes his artwork as “a landscape of transformed engines both large and small”, including a steam train engine, a stone car engines and a full-sized 27m-long locomotive.
Models of the shortlisted sculptures are on display at Millennium Point and, from September, the Library of Birmingham.
There will be ballot boxes for exhibition visitors to vote for their favourite pieces and leave comments. The public’s favourite will be taken into consideration when the steering panel makes the final decision.
The winner will be announced in January 2017 with a grand unveiling planned for April 2018.