A disused oil rig arrives to be turned into an art installation

See the Monster art installation

A disused 450 tonne oil rig has been delivered to Weston-super-Mare seafront where it is to be transformed into an interactive art installation.

Dubbed “See Monster”, the people behind the project hope it will transform perceptions about how outdated industrial infrastructure is disposed of.

It was delivered to the North Somerset town beach in the early hours of Wednesday and is expected to be transported to a base at the Tropicana arts and music venue in the coming days.

When completed, the 35-meter-high platform will feature a waterfall, a seated amphitheater, a 6,000-piece art installation to give it ‘ladders’ and will be covered in grasses, plants and trees. trees.

The project was designed by Leeds-based design and events company Newsubstance.

See the Monster art installation
The oil rig arrived at Weston-super-Mare beach on Wednesday morning (Ben Birchall/PA)

Patrick O’Mahony, creative director and founder of Newsubstance, told the PA news agency that the idea was to find a platform “to tell stories with”.

He added: “What better platform than a disused oil rig?

“The goal was to create a structure that was big, happy and made a real impact – and that’s what See Monster gave us the opportunity to do.

“There will be experiments in renewable futures – so new thinking about wind and solar, a giant waterfall coming down the front, and a huge amount of kinetic sculpture all over the structure.”

The rig has spent 30 years in the North Sea and the last 12 months in a Dutch shipyard being dismantled, cleaned and repaired before delivery to Weston-super-Mare.

Mr O’Mahony said: “We didn’t want to build from scratch, we really wanted to explore repurposed (materials).

“There are these big industrial structures all over the world, rigs are just one of them, and we really wanted to create this blueprint to see what’s possible – we’re taking these beasts that have had a form of life and transform them into something new.

See Monster
The completed structure will be covered in plants and feature a 10-metre waterfall (Newsubstance/PA)

“We wanted to bring her in almost like the beast and turn her into a beauty, and when she comes in and gets raised and put on her legs, over the next six to eight weeks, we’re going to plant a huge wild garden on the whole thing in high.

“The thing is, it’s like he’s been ‘rehabilitated’ – he’s spent his life getting out of the dirt and now it’s time to give back.”

Despite the enormous efforts made to deliver the project, it will only be fully open for two months between the beginning of August and the end of October.

After its closure, many works of art are to be installed in the city, while the platform itself will be deconstructed and recycled.

Mark Canniford, councilor for placemaking and the economy for North Somerset, said Weston-super-Mare had been chosen for the facility from a “long list” of seaside towns that wanted it.

See the Monster art installation
The platform will sit on a huge base in the Tropicana Arts and Music Hall (Ben Birchall/PA)

He said it was part of the town’s push to re-establish itself as one of Britain’s top beach destinations.

“You can see the interest it generated today – hundreds of people came out to see this monster stopped on the beach,” he said.

“It’s going to attract people, there’s no doubt about it.

“Anyone in the West Country will come take a look and see what this oil rig is about, and it also gives something back.

“It’s something that’s been used to extract carbon from our seas and is now going to show everyone what can be done with all the green energy it’s going to present, which I think is so clever.”

Mr Canniford said the See Monster project is a stark contrast to the latest art installation hosted at Weston-super-Mare – street artist Banksy’s dystopian theme park Dismaland in 2015.

He said that while Dismaland is partly about neglected and declining British seaside resorts, See Monster is about regeneration and rebirth.


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