Topiary sweepers for a clean green city

Picture of the new sculptures and partners

Giant topiary-like sculptures are being installed in the Old Market Square this summer – an eye-catching artwork to celebrate Nottingham’s clean, green credentials and to encourage shoppers to help keep it that way.

The sculptures, made by Notts company Shipshape Arts, have been commissioned by Nottingham City Council and the Nottingham Business Improvement District (BID), a business-led organisation that aims to make Nottingham city centre the shopping and leisure destination of choice in the Midlands and beyond. They depict a grandmother and grandson sweeping, and encourage people to consider: “If every man would sweep his own doorstep and look after his local green space, the city would be even cleaner and greener.”

The sculptures celebrate Nottingham’s official status as the Cleanest City in Britain along with a hat-trick for the Parks, Grounds and Horticultural Service team in the Association of Public Service Excellence (APSE) awards.

The figure of the grandmother stands at 3.2m tall (10ft 6ins); her grandson at 1.5m (5ft). They are made of timber and metal, dressed with wire mesh and artificial topiary matting, and will be lit at night.

These sculptures are based on larger figures made by Shipshape Arts in 2013 for the Southbank Centre in central London. They became iconic pieces and were re-sited at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, set in the centre of the redeveloped Olympic village.

Neil Fincham, director of the Nottingham BID said: “The Floral Trail that we organise in conjunction with the Council has been a popular feature of the city’s summer landscape for the last four years, helping to make the city centre more attractive, and this will appear on the city’s streets again this year with the addition of two new wicker sculptures. However, we wanted to do something different this year, too, and I am sure that the sweepers will prove to be a great attraction.”

Councillor Nicola Heaton, Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Services, said: “We are delighted to be able to support the installation of ‘The Sweepers’ in the city centre. These magnificent sculptures will captures everyone’s imagination and encourage citizens and visitors to think about how they can support us to maintain our status as the Cleanest City in Britain.”

Councillor Cat Arnold, Executive Assistant for Leisure, Culture and Tourism, said: “These sculptures are an instant statement of clean, green Nottingham – a great place to live, work and visit. I hope they will encourage more people to visit the city centre this summer and make the most of all that Nottingham has to offer.”

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