I am absolutely delighted to be shortlisted for this Agatha Christie commission for Torquay Harbourside. Today, the 3-minute submissions by the 5 shortlisted artists/teams are up on the Torbay Council website and the public can now vote. For all the information and videos on the competing designs, see here. [NOTE: voting now closed].
This statue will be dynamic, with both plot and character. It will have intrigue, with clues to Agatha Christie’s work and life to engage passers–by, yet will be a faithful likeness to Agatha Christie, conveying her humour, intelligence, love of travel, and of course, her affection for Torquay.
The statue story
It’s the 1950s, Agatha Christie is in the best of moods. Why? She loves the sun, she loves the sea, she loves Torquay. We find her striding out in the sunshine, along the harbourside, with blue skies above and The Strand behind. She’s wearing a summery dress, sun hat (but no sunglasses) and her signature pearls. In one hand she holds a sun parasol and in the other, her woven bag. Agatha is en route to Beacon Cove for a much–loved sea swim. (I‘ve made a rough maquette in clay so that you can get an idea of the movement of the statue).
But this is only one interpretation…the best public statues inspire the imagination of passers-by to create their own stories. Perhaps Agatha is instead striding down to the boathouse at her beloved Greenway, the setting of my favourite book, Dead Man’s Folly. Or, is she happily traveling with Max, visiting archaeological sites like the Acropolis?
With any statue you need passers-by to come up close and ask questions. Who is this woman striding out? What is her connection to Torquay? Is it Agatha Christie? Or is it Miss Marple? Where is she going? Is the parasol a clue to her book Evil under the Sun? What’s in her bag? Does it contain clues to her life and books? Perhaps a vial of medicine, from her dispensary days, or is it in fact a bottle of poison?
My video (above) provides more of an insight into my inspiration, but I also provided some written insights – here.