New home for artist’s chair

Artist Colin Wilbourn sits in the new sculptured brick chair at Sunderland Museum watched by Les Hodgson, who donated the chair and John lloyd (left) who commissioned the piece.

Artist Colin Wilbourn sits in the new sculptured brick chair at Sunderland Museum watched by Les Hodgson, who donated the chair and John lloyd (left) who commissioned the piece.

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A SCULPTURE by a Sunderland artist has a new home in the city.

The Architect’s Chair, by Colin Wilbourn, has been donated to Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens.

The 1.7m high chair is made from brick, oak, steel and glass and features a hat and coat draped on the back of it.

The chair was originally commissioned in 1997 by John Lloyd from an architect firm Browne, Smith and Baker, in Newcastle, where it was based until now.

Colin, 55, who lives in Ashbrooke, said: “Because it was all to do with architects who build buildings, I wanted to use materials they would use to make buildings but making something on a more domestic scale.”

With the closing of the firm, the chair needed a new home and the architects donated it to the museum.

Colin said: “It’s really nice that it’s sort of coming home. The architect who commissioned it lives in Sunderland and of course I made it when I was living in Sunderland.”

Colin worked on the Helix Arts Project and produced sculptures to be displayed for the St Peter’s Riverside Sculpture Project.

He said: “I basically spend most of my life producing public artwork, and now hundreds and hundreds of people will be able to see the chair.”

Les Hodgson, 68, a former partner of Browne, Smith and Baker, was the man who made it his mission to send the chair home when the firm went into administration.

He said: “I asked the partners if they would be happy to gift the chair and to see it come back to Sunderland where it was conceived and built.

“Now that it has, I’m a happy man and it will hopefully be a bit of a legacy for the firm, which was established in 1894.”

Jo Cunningham, manager of Sunderland Museum, said: “It’s a fantastic new addition in our time machine gallery. I think it’s going to be a hugely popular with our visitors.

“I’m sure people will love it and people will come to sit on it the way they do with Wallace the Lion.

“We are really pleased to house it.”

Jo also added that any donations to the museum are always welcome.

Jo said: “It’s something we would love to encourage. We are very pleased with the generosity people show.”

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