A SCULPTURE was unveiled yesterday at South Park in Darlington as the latest addition to the Tees Sculpture Trail.

There are now 25 of these new artworks across the Tees Valley from Piercebridge to South Gare.

Five designers/artists were commissioned to deliver a minimum of five artworks, one in each of the five local authority areas across the Tees Valley.

The grade II listed park is now home to the Musical Dragonfly, referencing the park’s famous bandstand.

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Artist, Steve Tomlinson, said: “I was sitting by the river at the park and I noticed all these lovely dragonflies and the idea just came to me.

“My River Tees sculptures are based around the idea of how nature responds in various ways to the activities of humans.

“The five pieces combine flora or fauna with a current, or former, human activity pertinent to each location.”

Steve’s other four sculptures can be found at Aislaby, Iron Masters District, Seaton Common and Coke Ovens.

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The Musical Dragonfly is made from acid etched galvanised steel and the dragonfly rests on a horn-like shape with feet of forged ‘musical notes’, a body like a tin whistle and wings with trumpet-like ‘valves’.

Community Project Manager for River Tees Rediscovered, Lucy Chapman, said: “We want people to get out and discover all these wonderful pieces of art.

“They’re situated in places that are accessible but a bit off the beaten track so that people visit places in the Tees Valley that aren’t particularly well-known.”

Programme Manager for Groundworks, Natalie Whitworth, said: “The project has been a long time coming but if this makes people get out and enjoy their surroundings more then it’ll be worth it.”

Councillor Andy Keir, cabinet member for local services, said: “I think the dragonfly sculpture is great and if all the sculptures get people exploring the region then that can only be a positive thing.”

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The aim of the project is to promote a better understanding of the history, landscape and cultural heritage of the area and sites within it.

Groundworks hopes this will enhance the visitor experience across the area, through the provision of interesting and memorable destinations and activities.

The River Tees Rediscovered Landscape Partnership covers 147km squared within the Tees Valley.

The scheme aims to celebrate the natural and social heritage while protecting, preserving and enhancing the unique landscape and enabling broader access to it.

The team behind River Tees Rediscovered wants the Tees Valley to be renowned for its rich landscape, heritage and culture.


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