St Helens Council

I contacted St Helens Council Friday for more information about The Dream sculpture. I was given the direct number for Gary Conley,


The Dream sculpture was funded through The Big Art Project by Arts Council England, The Art Fund and Channel 4.

This documentary shows the process of submission, selection and production of the sculpture in Sutton, Merseyside.


Local resident and ex-miner , Gary Conley, put forward the Sutton Manor Colliery site for a monument to The Big Art Project. A group of ex-miners from the local area worked with Spanish Artist, Jauma Plensa to ultimately come up with The Dream Statue.


St.Helens has a rich history of over 400 years of mining and Sutton Manor Colliery was the largest colliery in the area, however it closed at the beginning of the 1990s.


Throughout the program, there are several artists and public art pieces that are shown.

The statue stands at 20 meters, and was originally going to have a beam of light from the top of the light to illuminate the sculpture, and extend 2km into the sky. The highway agency objected to this illumination, as it would be a distraction for the nearby drivers along the M62 motorway. The illuminated light was removed, and was granted full planning permission by the local council.


The head was digitally separated into 54 sections. A milling machine then cut the sections out of polystyrene. These moulds where then transported to a concrete factory where the moulds where filled with a specific combination of materials to ensure that the hardened concrete will illuminate correctly.


The statue was officially opened in 2009, now 10 years ago. I remember being told about the sculpture while I was in Primary school by my teacher and the class being taught briefly about the history of Sutton Manor Colliery. During high school, my school became an Academy and the students where able to put forward names for the Academy, Dream being one of them. The Dream statue is a local attraction for tourists and dog walkers.




This is an interview with Gary Conley regarding his experience during the Big Art Project of making the Dream.




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