LONDON.- Kenny Hunter is the winner of the inaugural Spitalfields Sculpture Prize. Hunter beat seven other shortlisted designs to win the £45,000 commission and his work - I Goat - will be sited in Bishops Square, Spitalfields from October 2010. Scottish sculptor Hunter is known for his monumental sculptures and his works have been exhibited worldwide.
I Goat shows a hand-sculpted goat standing atop a stack of packing crates. Hunter was inspired by Spitalfields rich, ongoing, social history. The goat stands as a symbol for the various waves of migration that have found sanctuary in Spitalfields and helped to shape it. The goat, as an image of persecution and sacrifice, reflects how each successive group of immigrants have faced their own combination of conflict, oppression and poverty, all eventually finding a new home in London. The crates on which it stands reference the market as well as the ongoing history of transience and human flux.
The judges said: We were pleased to be able to select a winner from such a wide-ranging and strong shortlist and it was a hard task picking an overall winner; but after long deliberations we were delighted to award the prize to Kenny Hunters I Goat.
A public vote was combined with those of the judges - including Sir Richard MacCormac, Nigel Hall and Alex Sainsbury to decide the overall winner. The sculpture will be sited in one of Londons most high profile public spaces, Bishops Square, Spitalfields, and will be seen by more than 70,000 people a week. The £45,000 prize was awarded on the evening of 11th February.
I Goat will go on display in Bishops Square, Spitalfields this October for 18 months and will become a permanent part of the Spitalfields Public Art Collection, with the intention to create a sculpture park within the site featuring the winning sculptures of 2010 and beyond.
Spitalfields links the vibrancy of the City with the creativity of the East End and is itself a hub of commerce and the arts. New and historic buildings, landscaping and large piazzas combine to provide the ideal canvas for an inspirational and large scale sculpture.
Born in Edinburgh in 1962, Kenny Hunter studied sculpture at Glasgow School of Art. He has exhibited extensively abroad and in the U.K. including solo exhibitions at Scottish National Portrait Gallery (2000), Centre for Contemporary Arts (Glasgow, 2003), Yorkshire Sculpture Park (2006), Tramway (Glasgow, 2008) and Conner Contemporary, Washington DC (2009). Hunter has also created a number of high profile, commissioned works including 'Youth with split apple' (2005) for Kings College, Aberdeen, 'Citizen Firefighter' (2001) outside Glasgow's Central Station and Natural Selection (2006) in Great Ormond Street Hospital. He was one of five shortlisted for the Olympic arts project Artists Taking The Lead, in Scotland. Hunter lives and works in Glasgow.