Giant sculptures weighing 14-tonnes unveiled in Port Glasgow

WORK is complete on the installation of two 33-feet tall stainless steel sculptures in Port Glasgow, in tribute to the town’s shipbuilding heritage.

The installation at Coronation Park was carried out over the past couple of weeks despite ‘challenging’ weather conditions – which included named storms.

Designed by John McKenna, the two figures weigh a combined 14 tonnes and will later have lighting added to illuminate the sculptures – as well as landscaping in the summer.

Councillor Michael McCormick, Inverclyde Council’s convener of environment and regeneration, said, “The delivery of these sculptures has been a long time coming and much has been said about them but it’s now clear to see that they are quite spectacular and the reaction thus far suggests they are well on their way to becoming an icon of Inverclyde and the west of Scotland.”

John McKenna added, “When my design of the shipbuilders sculpture was overwhelmingly voted for by the people of Port Glasgow I was absolutely thrilled that my vision for the artwork would be realised. It was no easy task to design and complete the sculpture, a complete unique one-off, a dynamic pose, the colossal pair swinging their riveting hammers, trying to evoke working together.

“To see the pair finished in metal at full-size was fantastic, for so long these complex figures were all ‘in my head’. That complexity and the size of the work were a huge challenge, not only in the structural design but the faceted plating that is the sculpture surface. Consequently, the artworks took longer than expected but anything worthwhile is worth waiting for.

“These artworks, made in my studio in Ayrshire, are to celebrate the historical shipbuilding industry of Port Glasgow and the impact ‘Clydebuilt’ had on the whole world. They were made for the people of Port Glasgow, those who had faith in my design and voted for it. Hopefully they will cherish and enjoy these colossal giants of industry for many generations to come.”