ARMOUR - LYTE
Scenography: rapid manufactured scenery & costumes
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Caerphilly County Borough Council has recently unveiled ‘Simnai Dirdro’ (Twisted Chimney), a permanent art installation by New York artist Brian Tolle. The sculpture was carved in polystyrene, then coated in 6mm of Armour-Lyte for durability and strength, before being hand painted to the finished piece seen below. The installation can be viewed at Butetown, just off the ‘Heads of the Valleys’ road (A465, Butetown, Rhymney, NP22 5QJ, South Wales).
Caerphilly County Borough Council has a long and varied history of commissioning art in the public realm. Many towns and villages throughout Caerphilly feature eye-catching and imaginative public artworks. Building on this success, Caerphilly County Borough Council engaged Brian Tolle, an artist with an outstanding international record of accomplishment to produce a public art work that projects a strong iconic landmark for Caerphilly along the A465, acting as a gateway feature for the Upper
Rhymney valley. This is one of the first public artworks to be commissioned as part of the overall Strategy for the Heads of the Valleys. The Heads of the Valleys initiative is a 15-year regeneration project, led by the Welsh Assembly Government, working to benefit communities in Merthyr Tydfil, Blaenau Gwent, Torfaen, Caerphilly and Rhondda Cynon Taf. Aimed at stimulating regeneration, economic growth, and environmental improvement, the £140 million programme is making the Heads of the Valleys an increasingly successful and attractive area for people to live and work.
Artist Brian Tolle is best known for the Irish Hunger Memorial (Battery Park City, NY, 2001), a half acre sculpture on the Hudson River. He has other notable public works in Los Angeles and the University of Washington in Seattle; and has public art works in progress in Brooklyn, Miami, Calgary and Alberta. For more than a decade, Brian Tolle’s work has been exhibited internationally in the Tate Modern; Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland; the SMAK museum in Ghent, Belgium; ICA, Philadelphia; CAC, Cincinnati; the Queens Museum of Art, and numerous other institutions. Brian Tolle was born in New York in 1964; he now lives and works in New York City.
Steel Monkey Engineering Ltd is a specialist manufacturer of staging & scenery for the film, television, exhibition industries and bespoke artworks. Steel Monkey has over 3000 square metres of workshops in central Bristol. Steel Monkey have been instrumental in realising Tolle’s Simnai Dirdro (Twisted Chimney). Their dedication to fabricating such a large curved structure coupled with their experienced hand carving has ensured that the sculpture is a bespoke creation of the highest standard.