Monday, 14 May 2007
The idea of an Arthur Machen Memorial sculpture for Caerleon was first suggested in 2005 and has been a project worked on by the commitee of Celf Caerleon Arts Festival along with Gwilym Games of the Friends of Arthur Machen on and off over the last few years. The Arts festival holds a sculpture competition in which wooden sculptures are made for the town every year in July in the open air. This seemed an ideal opportunity to immortalize Machen in his birthplace. The sculptor commissioned for the piece, selected by the arts committee earlier this year after much debate in a long session is a Czech sculptor, Jiri Netik.
The Machen sculpture will take the form of a hand writing a book, on a plinth with a horrific mask of the Great God Pan and an inscription to Machen. The creation of the sculpture will coincide with the 60th anniversary of Machen’s death in Decemberand the hundredth anniversary of the publication of The Hill of Dreams.
To fund the sculpture a limited edition memorial booklet, Machenology will soon available. It will contain some rare items by Machen, plus a collection of tributes paid to him by writers past and present.
Plans for the Machen memorial sculpture are came together nicely in conversations with Jiri Netik, the Czech sculptor. I should mention here how much we owe to Principality Medical Ltd, the innovative hi-tech firm based in Bassaleg who provided much of the funding for the sculpture.
Leo Basil its director told me that Machen was a writer of great importance worldwide who deserved a memorial in his home town. “Principality Medical provides prosthetics which are used globally, not just for medical purposes to cover scar tissue, but in the special effects industry too. Our products have appeared in some of the most successful science fiction and fantasy films of recent years so it was a natural decision for us to fund the sculpture. We like to think our dedication to perfecting our products mimics Machen’s commitment to literature.”