News & Events

Calling all artists! Torbay Council is seeking to commission a permanent artwork to celebrate the life and work of Agatha Christie

Torbay Council, working in collaboration with Agatha Christie Limited, the Agatha Christie Festival Limited, Torbay Culture and others is seeking a permanent artwork for the Torquay harbour area to celebrate the life and work of Agatha Christie.

Torbay has an exceptional literary heritage. For generations the bay’s natural and cultural heritage has provided inspiration for some of the most well-read and celebrated authors, including Mary Shelley, Oscar Wilde, Rudyard Kipling, George Bernard Shaw and Séan O’Casey, through to contemporary figures Adam Nevill, Lesley Pearse, TP Fielden, and Sarah Pearse. The most famous literary connection for Torbay however, is without doubt Agatha Christie.

Dame Agatha Christie is the most published author in the world. Her books have been printed in more than 100 languages and sold over two billion volumes. Her writing has inspired hundreds of films and television productions, and her plays continue to be performed.

Born in Torquay, Christie lived and worked in Torbay for much of her life, and retained a family summer home in Greenway, now in the care of the National Trust. Torbay has marked the author’s life through walking trails, heritage plaques, and a bust near Cary Green; and is home to the International Agatha Christie Festival. Torbay Council and partners now want to ensure that a more prominent, and permanent, reminder of the bay’s most famous daughter is created for residents and visitors to enjoy and visit for generations to come.

Councillor Swithin Long, Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, Tourism and Housing, Torbay Council, said; “We are proud to have such an iconic author associated with our bay and look forward to further celebrating this with a piece of permanent artwork along Torquay’s harbourside. It is hoped that the statue will create a real excitement and something that will be admired by our residents and visitors alike”.

The new artwork will be created and installed as part of the harbour renewal and improvement scheme. This project is being entirely funded by and developed as part of the Towns Fund investment from central government.

This call is open to all artists. Expressions of interest from artists and creative practitioners who have knowledge and experience of the locality will be especially welcomed.

Councillor Mike Morey, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture for Torbay Council, said; “This is an exciting project that forms part of our ongoing important regeneration programme. Torbay is committed to encouraging community engagement, an approach that has been developed through our cultural programming over recent years. The aim of this project is to enable the public of the bay to get involved and share ideas, with the final design being determined via a public engagement process. We are really looking forward to seeing some creative and innovative ideas coming forward”.

The final selected artwork should capture the spirit of Agatha Christie, her life and work. Torbay Council is especially keen to see ideas come forward which consider her ‘in the round’, as a woman who lived and worked here, who had multiple interests and passions, including the outdoors, nature, people, and places. The artwork will be located outdoors, therefore will be open to the elements and accessible to public touch. The final piece will need to consider this in the design.

Artists who are interested in this commission should respond via Torbay Council’s electronic tendering portal by 18th October.  Click here to find out more about the application and selection process.

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