Decommissioned North Sea platform about to arrive in Weston-super-Mare ahead of transformation into major public art installation

SEE MONSTER, a decommissioned North Sea offshore platform that is set to become one of the UK’s largest public art installations, is due to arrive by sea into Weston-super-Mare this Tuesday, 12 July. The transformation of the platform is a world-first that aims to inspire global conversations about the repurposing of large industrial structures and design-led solutions to sustainable futures.

The 450-tonne platform will be transported on a flatbed barge as large as a football pitch to its new home at the Tropicana, an iconic seafront landmark, and lifted by crane over the seawall onto preconstructed legs. The entire construction will be 35m tall – 15m taller than the Angel of the North and just 11m shy of Nelson’s Column.

Visitors and residents to Weston-super-Mare will witness the transformation of SEE MONSTER, commissioned as part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, as construction takes place over the coming weeks. Once the installation is completed, SEE MONSTER will be experienced from the seafront, beach and on board. It will feature four publicly accessible levels animated by a 10 metre-high waterfall; a 6,000-piece kinetic installation forming the monster’s shimmering scales; an onboard oasis of grasses, plants and trees selected to thrive in a seaside microclimate; and a seated amphitheatre and broadcast studio, forming a platform for conversations about reuse and sustainable futures. A phased opening at the Tropicana begins over August bank holiday in England, Northern Ireland, and Wales.

SEE MONSTER is brought to life by Leeds-based creative studio NEWSUBSTANCE in collaboration with Dose of Society, REDHOUSE Productions, Rocket Women, Empowering Women with Tech, sculptor Ivan Black, and representatives from The British Antarctic Survey,and is supported by North Somerset Council.

Patrick O’Mahony, Creative Director and Founder of NEWSUBSTANCE said, “This world-first project is a truly challenging and ambitious feat of design and engineering. From our creative collaborators to North Somerset and Weston Town Councils, and from local communities and businesses to the energy and environment industry, we are immensely grateful to those who have supported us in bringing this once-in-a-lifetime educational and creative experience to Weston-super-Mare. From experiments in renewable energy generation to the reuse of major industrial structures, SEE MONSTER will be a platform for conversations about our future.”

SEE MONSTER is one of ten creative projects commissioned as part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK and taking place across the UK until October 2022.

Martin Green, Chief Creative Officer, UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK said, “SEE MONSTER is an inspirational and awe-inspiring project that embodies the ambition of UNBOXED, to celebrate creative collaboration across science, engineering and the arts. The transformation of a decommissioned platform into one of the UK’s most ambitious public art installations is an unprecedented undertaking and will offer a blueprint for the reuse of industrial structures that everyone involved should be proud of.”

Cllr Mark Canniford, Executive Member for Placemaking and Economy at North Somerset Council, said: “North Somerset Council have worked closely with NEWSUBSTANCE throughout the project, and we are excited that SEE MONSTER is on its way. There will be an impressive calendar of events and activities planned across the town to celebrate its time here and we look forward to welcoming visitors from across the country to share in this unique event.”