Alan Boyson – Sculptor of Skelmersdale New Town’s Pyramid

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Frozen music – St Anne’s church, central Manchester

I spoke to Alan Boyson on the phone late last year (2011), mainly about his involvement with the Skelmersdale Development Corporation, and the art work he designed for them.

THE SKELMERSDALE PYRAMID

Originally this was one larger pyramid and four small ones.  It was placed above the original entrance to the Concourse Shopping centre in Skelmersdale, and was taken down when a large, glass extension to the building was made.  He felt that the concrete boxed design of the pyramid that he made under contract to the SDC was generally not well liked at the time of its construction, and he himself had wanted to produce something rather more organic in its style.  The pyramid was covered in ceramic tiles But, boxed, and concrete, seemed to suit the general style of Skelmersdale at the time.

Alan Boyson had orignally taken this job, because not everyone had wanted ceramic solutions to sculptural design. He modestly felt that he had no greater status than the abuilders and planners working in Skelmersdale. There was little money available in the 1960s and he would get paid for his basic skills with no extra allowance for his artistic status.

Public response

Boyson suggested that the public response was largely unknown at this time – people are much more vocal about their views nowadays.  The only job where he had the exact response he wanted was the stained glass window in St Anne’s Church as shown above.  Which probably  says something about the expectations of the audience, rather than the quality of the work.

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