Sculpture Design Competition

Charlotte McKeown, Duncan Cameron and Lucja Korczak with final sculpture 'Kinetic Structure' - now on show at SESC

Charlotte McKeown, Duncan Cameron and Lucja Korczak with final sculpture ‘Kinetic Structure’ – now on show at SESC


As part of our ‘step in stone‘ art in quarries project in East Mendip this summer and autumn, a Young Sculpture Design Competition for under 20 year olds was launched during April – May to engage young people in the project.  In May the winners were selected by partners of step in stone: Black Swan Arts, Mendip AONB, Somerset Art Works, Somerset Wildlife Trust, Somerset Earth Science Centre, Nick Weaver and curator Fiona Campbell.

The work entered showed a remarkable amount of creativity by all ages and choosing the final winners was a real pleasure,” says Amanda Sheridan – Chair, Black Swan Arts.

The overall winner is Charlotte McKeown (aged 18, Wanstrow) with her elegant ‘Kinetic Structure’, chosen because integral to the piece is its movement and opportunity for public interaction.

The under 13-year-old prizewinner is Lucja Korczak (aged 11, Trowbridge) with her ethereal ‘The Shattered Lily’. Lucja’s work impressed the judges as a ‘thing of loveliness’.

Charlotte’s design was interpreted as a full-scale sculpture  in one day (10 July),  with the help of a small team (Duncan Cameron, Fiona Campbell, Nick Weaver, Lucja Korczak and Charlotte), now on show at Somerset Earth Science Centre throughout the step in stone trail from July – October. (Somerset Earth Science Centre is next to Moons Hill Quarry, Stoke St. Michael, nr Radstock, BA3 5JU, tel: (01749) 840156.)  It was a huge challenge and a great success! (See blog for further information and images)   

Lucja receives a free step in stone workshop of her choice.  Winning designs and the selected top 20 entries will be exhibited in a special area during step in stone’s exhibition at Black Swan Arts Gallery, Frome 3-17 October, part of Somerset Art Weeks Festival ’15 and Momentum programme, alongside leading local and international artists.  ALL entries will be on view at Black Swan Arts during Somerset Art Weeks Festival 2015.  Certificates for the winners will be awarded at the Exhibition opening on Friday 2 October, 6-8pm.

Charlotte McKeown - Kinetic Structure

Charlotte McKeown – Kinetic Structure

“.. we simply dig the rock up, only to lay it down again elsewhere.. an interactive piece, made from scrap wire and recycled metal or other materials I could collect”   Charlotte

Lucja Korczak - The Shattered Lily

Lucja Korczak – The Shattered Lily

This statue was inspired by the lilies of the ocean that I found out about at the presentation at Somerset Earth Science Centre. They seemed very unusual and inspired me to make this. The work is in gold paint on three pieces of clear glass, settled in a clay base. When you look through all of them you can see a picture of the lily”  Lucja

Top 20 designs to be exhibited in a special area of Black Swan Arts during the step in stone exhibition, 3-17 Oct:

Elih Badenhorst – Anamorphic Cave
Emma Badman – Ivy Skull
Eleanor Bott – Falcon
Caspar Clothier – Xiphanctinus
Georgia Dalgliesh – Fossil Fish
James Ellis – Tiger Bones
Sophie Gartell – Encrusted Fossils
Tom Green – Ancient Creature
Georgia Grinter – Yellow Glow
Spencer Hill – Hedgehog
George Jennings – Crystal on Ropes
George Jenniings – Head out of Water
Lucja Jadwiga Korczak – Eye of the Past
Lucinda Lovick – The Giant Carboniferous Dragonfly
Molly McCue – Pick Axe
Dylan Prandy – Stone Arch
Maddie Reade – Creature Coming out of Rock
Oscar Smellie – Spider
Ellie West – Wings
Chloe Wilkins- Snake

There are other ways to get involved in the project including guided walks in collaboration with Somerset Wildlife Trust, artist talks and workshops for the wider community – some specifically for school children supported by Somerset Art Works’ InspirED programme.  School groups will be encouraged to visit the quarry trail by coach and can get in touch with step in stone for special guided walks: or tel: (01749) 880394.

For a brief outline of step in stone, and its 3 phases, see our home page. For full details, see About


In collaboration with and supported by the Black Swan Arts Centre, a simple, online entry process was accessible from 1 April to 18 May. To learn more about the project and how to enter, a Launch event was held at Somerset Earth Science Centre, with slide shows, talks and a chance to meet some of the step in stone artists and experts at the centre.  Young people, local art teachers and press attended.

Designs needed to link to the project’s theme and the challenge for the winner was to create her sculpture in a day, with our help!


‘Design an outdoor sculpture that can be created in a day!’

  • You are being asked to create a design idea for a sculpture, not the real thing
  • The design could be for a series of small sculptural pieces or one larger piece (maximum size 2.5 metres)
  • You can use any media to create your design. You could even make a maquette (mini version of your sculpture) as long as it is smaller than A3 (420 x 297mm) in any dimension
  • Try to think of new, challenging ideas and approaches
  • You could annotate your design to illustrate what materials might be used and the scale of the proposed work
  • Materials need to be durable in all weathers, inexpensive or free
  • the theme for your design is quarries

Possible materials to consider for your proposed sculpture:

found stone, scrap metal (eg: steel components like old tools, springs, horseshoes, machine parts) wire, found/recycled natural or man-made objects, wood, twine, string, wool, netting, paint, plastic.

Possible techniques for securing work:

wire, screws, drilled holes with bolts, string, glue gun, staples, nails, rivets

Age limit:

Entrants must be under 20 years old on 1st of April ’15

To find out more about our project and the quarry theme, visit our About page , but here are a few ideas for you to explore:

  • dramatic  beauty and magnificence of quarries
  • nature taking over the disused quarries; environmental concerns
  • rock strata, fossils, geology
  • quarries as a taboo subject and the controversy that surrounds them
  • as recreational spaces for locals who have ‘ownership’ (walkers, ramblers, bikers)
  • the industry and history of working quarries, materials, equipment, human demand, consumption
  • transport
  • stories and facts about quarries including: “We use 5 tonnes p.p.per year of stone (eg elephant)”; “10% of limestone goes into plastic”


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