Last week our shortlisting committee met alongside representatives from the Aphra Behn education charity A is for Aphra and spent a great evening shortlisting 48 proposals for the Aphra Behn statue down to a final 4.
Proposals had come in from all over the world and the talent on display was phenomenal, with some incredibly well-known names submitting proposals. We really were blown away.
After many hours of debate, defending our various favourites and choices, we all found common ground with our final four. We felt these represented Aphra’s power, talent, potential and creativity. Each of the final designs brought out a different element of Behn’s life and work to life.
Each of our final four artists – Maurice Blik, Meredith Bergmann, Christine Charlesworth and Victoria Atkinson - have now been commissioned by the society to produce their design at scale (50cm high) and in bronze. These small sculptures (maquettes) will be toured in the summer of 2022 and the public will be able to vote for their favourite maquette.
The winning design will be commissioned for a life-and-a-quarter size sculpture for Canterbury city centre. Hopefully the statue will be installed in 2023.
Here are the shortlisted designs: