A VIBRANT public artwork celebrating Weston-super-Mare’s community has officially opened.

Co-created by internationally acclaimed public realm artist Morag Myerscough with local artists and residents, it has taken pride of place in the town’s High Street.

‘Super Wonder Shrine’ was officially opened on Friday, December 9 at a launch event attended by the artist, community members involved in the project, local councillors and the general public.

Alongside speeches, ribbon cutting and live music, there was a ‘pooch parade’ with pet and people portraits, to mark the town’s love of dogs – a central theme that emerged from engagement sessions with the community. 

Following Morag Myerscough’s trademark timber-built style, and adorned with bold and colourful patterns and words from the community, Super Wonder Shrine is animating  pedestrianised space on the corner of the High Street and Regent Street, an area known locally as Big Lamp Corner.

This is part of ‘21st Century super Shrines’, a pioneering heritage project launched in May 2021 that is managed by Culture Weston.

It is part of a four-year High Street Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) cultural programme, funded by Historic England, in partnership with Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

There are plans to develop a curated programme of free, outdoor ‘happenings’ presented by Culture Weston at the temporary Shrine in the months ahead. These will include music, spoken word and art, alongside a regular people’s platform of community activities.

The project is the culmination of months of community collaboration and activity led locally by visual artist and social maker Megan Clark-Bagnall, through which Morag Myerscough engaged with local people in a series of public sessions.

The final painting and pattern application of the structure was undertaken by local creatives, together with over 45 students from Weston College with hands-on guidance from Morag Myerscough in what was a genuine skills and community-building process.

Crafted and built by Weston-based master joiner Simon Birtwistle and local maker Shelley Jane, the temporary bandstand shaped structure was constructed from sustainably sourced timber.

Morag Myerscough said: “I have enjoyed every moment of this project. Weston-super-Mare community are incredible and work so closely together with a true sense of belonging, fun and joy. I am grateful to have been invited in and to be able to co-create the ’Super Wonder Shrine' with such an amazing group of humans.”

Fiona Matthews, creative director at Culture Weston, said: “Super Wonder Shrine is a multi-faceted and vibrant testament to Weston’s energy and positivity right at the heart of the high street.”