‘Dad’s Halo Effect’ will be a major new public sculpture in East Manchester by renowned contemporary artist Ryan Gander. Installed as the centrepiece to the Beswick community hub regeneration project in East of the city, this work will be based on an idea described to Gander by his father. Dad’s Halo Effect will be composed of three, 3 metre highly polished stainless steel sculptures that represent chess pieces in a checkmate position. Yet, because they are all made from the same material in the same colour, it will be impossible to tell which of the fictional opposing players are in the lead.
The idea for the sculpture was conceived while the artist’s father who worked for General Motors, and its forms will be based on parts of the steering mechanism of a commercial Bedford truck, signalling the tradition of heavy industry in the local area.This public sculpture is being installed as the centrepiece to the Beswick community hub regeneration project, sitting alongside the newly opened Connell Sixth Form College and the new East Manchester Leisure Centre.
Since announcing the artist as the chosen artist in June, local schools and community groups have taken part in a selection of artistic workshops aimed at encouraging local people to connect with and take ownership of the public artwork and empower the community to take advantage of the arts and cultural offerings available to them in the city.
The majority of the workshops were led by British poet Mandy Coe, who worked with the groups promoting dialogue about what the artwork means to them, and how the work fits into the heritage and future of east Manchester. Coe’s workshops also included a visit to Manchester Art Gallery where Ryan’s major solo show, ‘Make every show like it’s your last’, was exhibited in the summer. The workshops – including a session run by the artist himself – were supported by Manchester Art Gallery’s skilled community engagement team, giving the local community an expert led insight in to the world of contemporary art.