World’s first’ Charles Rennie Mackintosh statue completes £60m Sanctuary regeneration
A statue of Charles Rennie Mackintosh has been unveiled on the 90th anniversary of his death by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
The statue by Andy Scott is believed to be the world’s first public sculpture celebrating Mackintosh, one of Scotland’s most famous sons.
The artwork was commissioned by Sanctuary Group to mark the completion of the affordable housing provider’s £60 million regeneration of Anderston in Glasgow.
Ms Sturgeon formally unveiled Mackintosh’s statue before paying tribute to the renowned artist, architect and designer.
Mr Scott said: “Most of my memories as a Glasgow School of Art student have Mr Mackintosh’s beautiful building as a backdrop. His distinctive architectural styling and the sculpted detailing of that building undoubtedly influenced my career path.
“I am immensely proud to have created this distinctive bronze statue of him, especially here in his home city. There can’t be many Scots who deserve recognition more than Charles Rennie Mackintosh, a view I am delighted to say is shared by Sanctuary Group.”
Mr Scott created the sculpture in clay before it was cast into bronze. The completed statue weighs three tons, is 2.8 metres tall and sits atop a 2.2 metre plinth. It shows Mackintosh sat on the famous high-backed chair he designed for Glasgow’s Argyle Street Tea Rooms. The statue faces west from a section of Argyle Street reinstated during Sanctuary’s regeneration of Anderston.
Mr Scott said: “What better time to formally recognise this humble but brilliant Glaswegian than at the end of the year celebrating the 150th anniversary of his birth?
“I hope the sculpture becomes a much-loved local and city-wide tribute to this genius of Scottish architecture.”
Sanctuary Scotland Housing Association worked with the local community, Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council to transform Anderston’s housing stock.
The 10-year project saw many 1960s blocks demolished and replaced with 540 high quality, affordable homes.
Craig Moule, Sanctuary Group’s chief financial officer, will become the organisation’s chief executive on January 1.
Mr Moule said: “We believe Andy’s statue is a fitting way to mark the completion of Sanctuary’s regeneration of Anderston.
“We couldn’t have asked for a more apt artwork to acknowledge all that is great about Glasgow.
“The thousands of people who’ll pass the statue each day will help to ensure Mr Mackintosh’s memory lives on.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “This magnificent new Charles Rennie Mackintosh statue is a fantastic addition to Glasgow and recognises the incredible legacy of one of Scotland’s most iconic architects, designers and artists.
“It is a privilege to officially unveil Andy Scott’s installation, which now stands in pride of place in Anderston – an area transformed through the ten-year regeneration project.”