Lady Anne sculpture project takes shape

Date: Tuesday 10th October 2017
Artist Diane Lawrenson casts an expert eye over some of her work.
Artist Diane Lawrenson casts an expert eye over some of her work.

AWARD-winning Upper Eden-based sculptor Diane Lawrenson wants to create a bronze statue “in celebration of the spirit of Lady Anne Clifford” for the centre of Kirkby Stephen.

Alex Birtles, speaking at a meeting of Kirkby Stephen Town Council, said Diane, who lives locally, was a sculptor of both national and international repute.

Kirkby Stephen lies on Lady Anne’s Way — a 100-mile walk from Skipton to Penrith named after the well-known local figure — and it is hoped that a public sculpture celebrating such a “formidable woman” in the town would draw in visitors.

Councillors were told the idea was for the bronze sculpture to be placed on the paved area in front of the town’s visitor centre.

“This is something that will not just have artistic merit, but will be significant for the community,” said Mr. Birtles.

He said Diane was keen to proceed with the project and had offered to create the sculpture free of charge.

“She has lived in the area for a number of years. This is her home and she wants to give something back to the community. It is an extremely generous gesture on her part,” added Mr. Birtles.

The meeting was told the sculpture could be financed through the sale of up to 10 maquettes — small scale models of the sculpture which capture its essence in an unfinished form. It is envisaged that the sculpture itself would be owned by the town council and added to its insurance policy after being adopted as a community asset.

Town council chairman Joan Johnstone said Diane’s work was beautiful. “It really is stunning,” she said. Glenys Lumley added that a lot of people take a great interest in Lady Anne Clifford so to have a sculpture of her in the town would be splendid.