A decade of Dream

When we dream, anything is possible…” – Jaume Plensa

Last Friday 31st May 2019 marked the 10 year anniversary of Dream, a sculpture and piece of public art at Sutton Manor Colliery, St Helens by artist Jaume Plensa. The sculpture has a prominent location beside the M62 motorway towards Liverpool.
Erected on the site of an old coal mine back in 2009, St Helens Council and local residents, including 15 former miners from the colliery were involved in the consultation process through which the Dream was chosen. The people of Sutton Manor wanted a monument to the former colliery which had been at the heart of the community for many years.

The sculpture depicts the head of a young woman, eyes closed in a meditative dream-like state. It was constructed of 90 moulded and cast unique concrete shapes with Spanish dolomite used as an aggregate. This provides a brilliant white finish which sparkles on sunny days and creates a stunning visual impact; a stark contrast to the dark coal pit which still lies below.

Dream Facts & Figures

  • Dream is 20 metres high, however its foundation piles go almost twice that height down underground
  • The sculpture weights around 373 tonnes
  • It overlooks junction 7 on the M62 and lies midway between Manchester and Liverpool
  • On average, 100,000 vehicles pass Dream daily, equating to more than 35 million vehicles each year
  • A total of 6,160 man-hours were spent on site, during the construction of Dream and more than 5,500 cups of tea and coffee were drunk
  • The total cost of the project was £1.88 million

Our role

Quadriga were employed to sympathetically clean the Dream before its ten year anniversary. Work began on 13th May and lasted two weeks, ensuring the sculpture was in perfect condition for the celebrations.

The Dream was cleaned using a super-heated steam system which effectively removes dirt and any vegetation without risking any damage to the surface. Graffiti and mould to the base of the sculpture were removed using appropriate cleaning agents before an anti-graffiti coating was applied, ensuring that paint cannot bond to the surface in the future.

Areas of damaged concrete were repaired and joints were repointed where water seepage had been identified. All joints to the base of the statue were also repointed.

The work was completed in time for the 10th anniversary celebrations and we think you’ll agree that the Dream has been transformed.

We received some brilliant feedback from Gary Conley, Cultural Coordinator at St Helens Council:

“I am really pleased with the job and the results so far. In the areas completed so far, she looks like she did 10 years ago at the original build. The lads on site are doing a great job and are conscientiously working hard. They were very welcoming to me when I introduced myself.”

 

 

Celebrations began at 7pm last Friday with a yoga workshop held under the statue, preluding a dance troupe, singers and a poetry reading. The stunning finale of the Decade of Dream event was the illumination of the sculpture, echoing the St Helens motto: Ex Terra Lucem (from the ground comes light).

Photo credit: Dave Gillespie

We’re honoured to have been a part in restoring this iconic piece of art, not only for its 10th birthday but also for future generations to visit and enjoy.