A towering granite-clad fighter plane wing, adorned with more than 1,000 jewelled flowers, will sit as a permanent memorial to all those who have perished in conflicts across the globe at Aberdeen’s redeveloped art gallery.
Fraserburgh artist Gordon Burnett was chosen from submissions across the world to construct what will be the centrepiece of the Remembrance Hall when it reopens next year.
A panel comprised of art experts, military officials and the city’s provost, George Adam, selected Mr Burnett’s work which will now be viewed by generations of Aberdonians.
Mr Burnett left school aged 16 to pursue a career as a granite lettercutter in the north-east, but returned to education six years later at the city’s Gray’s School of Art and thereafter studied at the Royal College of Art in London.
In creating his new piece, he returned to his roots with the graniteclad spitfire wing representing the conflict in the air, the granite itself representing land war, while a wave motif at the bottom of the sculpture commemorates those killed in hostilities at sea.
Mr Burnett described it was “an honour and a privilege” to have been selected.
And he added: “Having worked in the granite industry in the north-east, it is incredible to think it (the sculpture) will stand for future generations to come and reflect.”
The ambitious £30million renovation of the city centre gallery includes a public fundraising drive for £10million of the pot. And around 25% of that figure has already been mustered.
The current work features the creation of 21 gallery spaces in place of the existing 11, as well as a community gallery in a new wing at the rear of the building.
The Lord Provost said: “The winning submission certainly has all of the different elements of the brief that we were looking for.
“It will be a wonderful addition to the Remembrance Hall for the people of Aberdeen.”