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Originally commissioned in partnership between Waterfronts (England’s Creative Coast) and Estuary 2021 (Metal), HELLO sculpture by Katrina Palmer was intended to stay in place for six months. It’s now been confirmed to become a permanent sculpture in Southend and will be looked after by Southend-on-Sea City Council.

Image credit: Katrina Palmer with HELLO, Photo: Thierry Bal

Estuary 2021 took place between Saturday 22 May and Sunday 13 June, featuring a mix of large-scale and intimate, visual art, literature and film. It was the second-edition of the expansive arts festival, and saw 208 thousand visitors across the 23 days, with 43% coming from outside of the region. 

Andrea Cunningham, Director of Metal Southend, said: “I’m so delighted that ‘HELLO’, the sculpture by Katrina Palmer, will be a permanent feature at East Beach. It’s a brilliant legacy for Estuary 2021. Artwork in the landscape like this can really change how we experience our public spaces. I have no doubt that ambitious and engaging public art will continue to be important to Southend – and even more so now that we are a city” – Andrea Cunningham, Director, Metal Southend

England’s Creative Coast was a landmark project, curated by Tamsin Dillon, connecting arts organisations across the South East region – Cement Fields, Creative Folkestone, De La Warr Pavilion, Hastings Contemporary, Metal, Towner Eastbourne and Turner Contemporary – to present outdoor art commissions ‘Waterfronts’ and lead the world’s first art GeoTour.

Image credit: HELLO by Katrina Palmer, Photo: Mark Massey

The HELLO sculpture, imagined and created by artist Katrina Palmer who works with stories that are distributed across found sites, audio environments, printed matter and performance, is set to be looked after by Southend-on-Sea City Council from March 2022. 

Cllr Carole Mulroney, cabinet member for environment, culture, tourism and planning for Southend-on-Sea City Council, said: “We are delighted that the appropriately named  HELLO is the first official art installation for the country’s newest City. Whilst originally only planned for six months as part of the Estuary 2021 art festival, residents and visitors alike both enjoyed visiting HELLO and its immersive experience. I would like to thank Katrina and Metal for working with us to make this stunning installation a permanent fixture at East Beach.” – Cllr Carole Mulroney, Cabinet Member, Southend-on-Sea City Council

The HELLO sculpture saw many gather and engage in discussion for the duration of Estuary 2021 and as part of England’s Creative Coast, and hopes to encourage more of the same as a permanent fixture in the city’s landscape.

HELLO to become a permanent sculpture for City of Southend-on-Sea