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Sunfish statues set to Make Waves in Plymouth

10:23 04 March 2014

The Making Waves sunfish statues on Plymouth

The Making Waves sunfish statues on Plymouth's Civic Piazza


The streets of Plymouth came alive with colour today with the official launch of the city’s innovative Making Waves tourist trail. A school of beautifully-painted sunfish statues have been installed in the Civic Piazza, where they will be on display to residents and visitors before moving to various locations around the city from 14 March

Tom Orchard & Richard Powell, Cleaning & Environmental Services apprentices at Plymouth City Council who helped design the sunfish statuesTom Orchard & Richard Powell, Cleaning & Environmental Services apprentices at Plymouth City Council who helped design the sunfish statues

The sunfish statues, designed by Plymouth City Council Apprentices, each feature individual artwork created by the Making Waves Artists, who were selected by each of the statue sponsors. All the artists contributing to the stunning sunfish are either from the South West or a current student or graduate from Plymouth University or Plymouth College of Art.

Sponsors of the statues include Brittany Ferries, Plymouth University, National Apprenticeship Service and Theatre Royal Plymouth, with each individual sunfish helping to tell the story of the city through a network of trails. The Making Waves project, spearheaded by the National Marine Aquarium and Plymouth University, is designed to give local companies, apprentices, artists and communities the opportunity to connect with each other to provide examples of how skills, employability and in particular, apprenticeships can help engage young people across the city.

Some of the Plymouth Making Waves sunfish sculpturesSome of the Plymouth Making Waves sunfish sculptures

Amy Cooper, Project Manager for Making Waves commented: “It was amazing to see all the sunfish statues together in one place to mark the official launch of the Making Waves trail - it’s brilliant to see everyone’s efforts come to fruition.”

“We have involved local skill in the development of the project as much as we can; from the apprentices that designed the sunfish, the media arts students that produced our project launch video, the sail making apprentices that made our banners and the Fine Art students that have worked as interns, to the creative and digital media apprentices that produced a promotional film for the trail. The statues themselves have even been made locally – the project is a real testament to the whole community coming together to create something very special.”

The statue trail will be on display until September, for both residents and tourists to discover. The sunfish statues will then be auctioned to raise money for a Plymouth-based marine conservation programme coordinated by The National Marine Aquarium.

As well as hosting the trail, the city will also see skills and other events taking place throughout the summer, encouraging young people to learn new skills and become involved with apprenticeships. The first of these, the Skills Show Experience, is taking place tomorrow at Plymouth’s Guildhall as part of National Apprenticeship Week 2014, and features over 35 activities designed to encourage 14-25 year olds to consider apprenticeships across a wide range of sectors. The event, which runs from 2pm, will allow visitors to try their hand at skills from hairdressing to engineering, with advice on hand from a raft of employers, colleges and other providers.

The Making Waves project is supported by Plymouth University, Plymouth College of Art, City College Plymouth, Plymouth City Council, Plymouth Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the National Apprenticeship Service, Plymouth Culture Board, the Department of Work and Pensions, and the Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce.

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