August 30, 2020

George Rickey Sculpture Installed in Glasgow's Queen's Park

Workmen put the finishing touches to the sculpture

December 17, 2020

By Catriona Stewart, Columnist/reporter for Glasgow Times

For 26 years it was feared missing... but now a world renowned artwork has found a new home in Queen’s Park.

Locals using the South Side green space will have noticed that the park’s main pond had been drained and fenced off.

Now a sculpture by artist George Rickey has been installed on a plinth in the middle of the duck pond.

Councillor Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction, passed on the council’s thanks to George Rickey’s son, Philip, who visited Glasgow in 2019 to participate in early work to restore the sculpture.

Anna said: “It’s fantastic that this wonderful sculpture is back where it belongs – on show for everyone to see. Queen’s Park is a great location for the Triple L sculpture and I’m sure it will prove a huge amount of enjoyment for all visitors to the park.

“We are also very grateful to the Rickey family, who have been directly involved in the work to ensure Three Right Angles Horizontal is treated with the care that befits an artist of George Rickey’s stature.”

The artwork, which revolves through 360 degrees, was removed from Festival Park in June 1994 as local children were using it as play equipment.

The stainless-steel Three Right Angles Horizontal spent just 24 hours in Festival Park before the decision was taken to immobilise the piece before it was then taken away over safety fears.

Rickey, an American who spent much of his childhood growing up in Helensburgh, later expressed his worry the sculpture had been smashed up and a myth developed that the piece had been lost. However, the ‘Triple L’ had actually gone into safe storage in Bellahouston Park, before being moved to a facility in East Kilbride.

A recent audit confirmed the significant art work remained in the council’s possession and efforts got underway to return Triple L to public view.

A survey of all Glasgow’s parks was undertaken to find a suitable location and that identified the Queen’s Park duck pond as the best option.

Three Right Angles Horizontal was always intended to be sited within a still water feature, although it has also been installed on dry land.

With the pond at Queen’s Park fully drained, work to attach the sculpture to a ready-made plinth has now been completed.

The pond will be refilled before safety fencing is removed.

Anna added: “We are very hopeful where it is sited will help address the issues that led to it being placed in storage in the past.

“Twenty six years is a long time for the sculpture to out of sight, but everyone involved in the project has done a tremendous job to ensure Triple L can now be seen as was always intended by the artist.”

Three Right Angles Horizontal originally formed part of a major exhibition of Rickey’s work that was held in Glasgow in 1982, which was the year of his 75th birthday.

George Rickey received a Lord Provost’s Award for Service to the Visual Arts in 1996 and died in 2002, aged 95.