Public invited to board SEE MONSTER
North Sea gas platform transformed into major public art installation in Weston-super-Mare
SEE MONSTER, a decommissioned North Sea offshore platform transformed into one of the UK’s largest public art installations, will welcome the public onboard for the first time from Saturday 24 September at the Tropicana on Weston-super-Mare’s seafront. This world-first transformation aims to inspire conversations about reuse, renewables, and the great British weather.
SEE MONSTER, commissioned as part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, features four publicly accessible levels animated by a 10-metre-high waterfall; a multi-level slide offering an alternative route through the monster, a 6,000-piece kinetic installation forming the monster’s shimmering scales; kinetic wind sculptures; a wild garden of grasses, plants and trees selected to thrive in a seaside micro-climate; artist-designed experiments in sustainable energy generation; a seated amphitheatre, unrivalled views out to sea from the helideck and, at its base, a broadcast studio.
The entire construction is 35 metres tall – 15 metres taller than the Angel of the North and just 11 metres shy of Nelson’s Column and can be experienced from the SEE MONSTER viewing platform at the Tropicana, seafront, beach and on board for free.
The transformation of an industrial structure into a public installation suitable for visitors is an unprecedented engineering achievement that has been led by Leeds-based creative studio NEWSUBSTANCE. In July, the 450-tonne platform was transported by sea on a barge as large as a football pitch to the beach at Weston-super-Mare, famous for having the second highest tidal range in the world. It was then lifted by crane over the seawall onto preconstructed legs within the Tropicana.
SEE MONSTER’s Garden Lab, will feature 9-metre-high trees, plants and grasses, selected to be resilient to salty breezes and Atlantic gales; SEE MONSTER’s roar, the waterfall, will continually recirculate through the pools at its base; and the impact of the weather will be seen and heard as the wind moves through the installations and garden, intended to prompt discussion about the science behind the great British weather and how it can support a sustainable future.
WindNest, designed by artist Trevor Lee, brings together art and renewable energy and comprises two rotating airborne pods, generating clean energy through wind and solar technology that will power the irrigation system for The Garden Lab. WindNest is made in collaboration with Land Art Generator Initiative, an art and design-led renewable energy team that looks for innovative solutions to help achieve a net-zero carbon future.