Venus and Cupid (sculpture)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The sculpture, seen in 2007 at Morecambe

Love, The Most Beautiful Of Absolute Disasters, popularly known as Venus and Cupid is a sculpture by Shane A. Johnstone which stands on a slight promontory beside Morecambe Bay on the eastern approach to Morecambe, Lancashire, England.

The sculpture[edit]

The sculpture depicts a seated woman, facing out to sea, holding the hands of a child who is suspended in the air extending horizontally from her arms, as if being swung round. It is covered in multicoloured mosaic. It was originally intended for St George's Quay in Lancaster.[1]

It was erected in 2005 on Scalestone Point, site of a former gun emplacement, between the coast road and the sea, and commemorates the 24 cockle-pickers who died in the bay in 2004.[1]

In 2011 the artist threatened to destroy the sculpture because the local council was not prepared to pay for its insurance and upkeep. The Venus & Cupid Arts Trust was formed to save the sculpture and to care for other public art in Morecambe.[2][3] The trust is responsible for the sculpture's insurance, maintenance and repairs.[4]

The sculpture was damaged by frost in the winter of 2017–2018, which caused some of the mosaic tiles to fall off.[5] It was moved temporarily into the Arndale Centre in Morecambe in November 2018, for repair,[6] and was returned to the sea front in June 2019. The sculptor, Shane Johnstone, used the Japanese technique of Kintsugi, replacing the missing tiles with gold leaf to celebrate the repair rather than attempting to hide it.[7] The repair cost over £4,000, including the cost of moving the sculpture.[7]

The artist[edit]

Shane Johnstone describes himself as "Originally a fairground artist in Blackpool and Morecambe". His work includes murals, mosaic work, sculpture and stained glass and he has been involved in many community art projects, including a 2015 piece of public art in Morecambe's West End, and the renovation of Ulverston's statue of Laurel and Hardy.[8][9][10] Johnstone has said of Venus and Cupid: "People love it. There’s dozens of sculptures along the promenade and two that get talked about – Eric Morecambe and my sculpture".[4]


  1. ^ a b Stevens, Becky (8 October 2013). "The Venus and Cupid Statue". LPC Furniture. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  2. ^ "About us". Venus & Cupid Arts Trust. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  3. ^ "Venus and Cupid fund may lead to Morecambe arts trust". BBC News. 14 February 2012. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  4. ^ a b Garnett, Mal. "Why this sculpture?". Venus & Cupid Arts Trust. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  5. ^ "Venus and Cupid statue fenced off for repairs". Lancaster Guardian. 17 August 2018. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  6. ^ "Morecambe's Venus and Cupid statue will move to town's Arndale Centre". The Visitor. 12 November 2018. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  7. ^ a b "Venus and Cupid statue is coming back to the prom this coming Saturday". Morecambe Artist Colony. 4 June 2019. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  8. ^ "About". Shane Johnstone. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  9. ^ Sherlock, Gemma (3 December 2015). "Unveiling of new art in Morecambe's West End". The Visitor. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  10. ^ Fenton, Amy (6 March 2020). "Laurel & Hardy statue gets facelift". The Mail. Retrieved 7 March 2020.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 54°05′04″N 2°49′59″W / 54.08436°N 2.83298°W / 54.08436; -2.83298