Giant steel cob statue arrives in south east London

  • A 5.5m-high silver horse arrived at a roundabout on a London industrial estate last week (13 February).

    “The Cob” statue was commissioned by Bexley Council as part of its £10.6million regeneration programme, and cost £150,000.

    Scottish sculptor Andy Scott brought the galvanised steel statue down to Belvedere from his studio in Glasgow.

    It was an 18-month project to make, and took a couple of hours to install on the roundabout at Belvedere.

    Mr Scott, who has produced several landmark sculptures across the world, was inspired by seeing the horses grazing around the industrial estate and on the Belvedere marshlands.

    He came up with 10 ideas for the sculpture, and residents voted for The Cob.

    “When I was commissioned, I came down to see the area and was struck by the wonderful enigma of these cobs belonging to the travelling community,” said Mr Scott, who sculpted his first horse, a Clydesdale, 13 years ago.

    “Horses are a recurring theme for me — I don’t have a horsey background but they suit the scale of my work and they are a great subject.”

    Saskia Delman, arts manager for the London borough of Bexley, approached Mr Scott after seeing models of the 30m-high statue The Kelpies, which he has designed for a regeneration scheme in Falkirk.

    “We wanted a gateway feature that would have an impact for the people living in Belvedere and this really catches the spirit,” she said.

    “The traveling community has been here for 500 years, so we needed something to reflect that landscape alongside the intense industrial development.”

    The galvanised steel lasts for about 50 years, after which it can be recoated.

    The wider project, including the sculpture, was funded by the Homes & Communities Agency and the European Regional Development Fund before the spending cuts were announced.

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