8 November, 2021

Glasgow’s Hope Sculpture Spotlights Global Goals at COP26

Steuart Padwick’s citywide public sculptures reflect on the scale of the climate emergency achieving a 75% lower carbon build.   


“The Hope Sculpture started as a conversation with Ramboll and became a gift from 50 companies to Glasgow. It is a testament to the power of collaboration and dedication to deliver a better future” Steuart Padwick.  


The Hope Sculpture. Cuningar Loop, Glasgow


This engaging public art installation by Steuart Padwick, is sited at 3 locations across Glasgow for COP26 and beyond. The 23m high Hope Sculpture is at Clyde Gateway’s beautiful woodland park, Cuningar Loop.  The 4.5m high Beacon of Hope is located at the city’s architecturally significant Glasgow Central Station and the 3.5m high Hope Triptych at the University of Strathclyde’s Rottenrow Gardens. Visitors will be encouraged to access the sculptures via a walking and cycling route that connects the pieces. 


Each sculpture is being constructed using low carbon, reclaimed, recycled or sustainable materials, of which, almost all have been locally sourced. It is a showcase for how leading industry partners are committed to build more sustainably, as we transition to a net zero future. The build demonstrating a 75% lower carbon impact. 


The monumental Hope Sculpture features an age, gender, race neutral child, embracing the surrounding nature and reaching out to a  greener, hopeful future. The child stands above towering, 20m high elegant columns that take their form from the brick chimney stalks that once littered the East End of Glasgow. Unlike its predecessors, this deconstructed chimney stalk is made from an innovative new low carbon 100% cement free concrete incorporating locally sourced aggregates and recycled crushed glass in the child.  


All lighting will be soft low energy and respectful of the environment and of local wildlife. using fittings designed and manufactured in Scotland for the Circular Economy. 


The Hope Sculpture. Cuningar Loop, Glasgow


Martin McKay, Executive Director of Regeneration at Clyde Gateway, said: “With Glasgow hosting COP26, the UN’s major climate change conference, I can think of nowhere better for the Hope Sculpture, which symbolises the hope of building a greener, healthier future, to call home than the East End of the city – an area that demonstrates that rapid transformations are possible.
Communities in Clyde Gateway are used to welcoming global visitors and I am confident they will be just as proud of this legacy of COP26, as they were of the Commonwealth Games in 2014.” 


The principal build partners for the project include lead consultant Ramboll, lead contractor Urban Union (part of Robertson Group), Aggregate Industries (member of Holcim) and Keltbray.  


The Beacon of Hope at Glasgow Central has the Child of Hope reaching out to all those passing through the station.  Made from contoured layers of FSC Scottish-grown Sitka Spruce, it celebrates the expanding timber construction industry that Scotland is developing.  


Finally, Padwick’s third sculpture – the ‘Hope Triptych’ – is a playful 3.5m-high adaptation of the Child of Hope and is composed of three colourful figures, symbolising the power of coming together.   Located at Rottenrow Gardens the triptych is made from reclaimed sheet steel with a low carbon cement-free concrete foundation.  


Linking our built environment with improved mental well-being, Padwick has worked with Mental Health Foundation on all messaging. Words of Hope have been written by some of Scotland’s favourite voices, writers and poets including Jackie Kay, Andrew O’Hagan, Ali Smith, and 2020 Booker Prize winner Douglas Stuart as well as local school children. These words have been inscribed directly onto all of the sculptures including the Caithness stones at Cuningar Loop. 


Each sculpture has mental health signposting close by to offer a range of support. 


Climate change is a global emergency and one in which we all have a role to play. To inspire action and share messages of hope across the world, Padwick has teamed up with Glaswegian BAFTA winner, Hannah Currie, and All3Media’s Bullion Productions to produce a thought-provoking film titled ‘A Conversation of Hope’. Rooted in Glasgow, but with a universal message this will be launched during COP26.  


“We all need to address this new global agenda so our young can embrace a future of hope. It is very simple, why would anyone want to poison their future?” Steuart Padwick 


The team has also developed dedicated activities for school children, giving an insight to the wide-ranging exciting career opportunities in the construction sector. The games, tasks and discussion topics highlight the important role designers, engineers, constructors and scientists all play in creating a more sustainable future. 


The Hope Sculpture will serve as a beacon of hope and positivity towards reaching global environmental milestones and a reminder that we, as a society do care about each other and our planet. 


Kayla Burns, climate and social justice activist said: “The Hope Sculpture serves as an astounding visual reminder to all of us of the beautiful and better future that we can create.”