Artist Ann bags a place in final

IT’s not very often you enter a sculpture competition with no idea how your entry will end up looking.

But that’s what Hemsworth artist Ann Balmforth is doing, and she has every confidence everything will turn out all right on the night.

That’s because her abstract cement-filled fabric bags have already secured her a place as one of 10 finalists in a prestigious sculpture competition.

As part of her degree course in Fine Art for Design at Batley School of Art, Mrs Balmforth had to enter a competition to show off her skills.

She selected the Broomhill National Sculpture Prize in Devon, where the winner is given a cash prize and their work will become part of a permanent collection.

Mature student Mrs Balmforth, 53, of Conisborough Way, said she would be filling the bags with cement on site, and then putting them in a position to resemble human figures relaxing.

She said she wouldn’t know what it would look like until it had hardened.

Mrs Balmforth said: “Because of the way I’m doing it the piece has to be made on site, whereas other finalists will be bringing their work down with them.

“I feel confident that I can do it, but I do like the uncertainty. It’s really the essence of the work that I‘ve been doing.”

Eventually the bags will wear away, revealing the textured cement inside.

Mrs Balmforth, a former area manager for a soft furnishings company, came across the idea after seeing sand bags left lying at the side of the road. The final piece will be on display at the Broomhill Art Hotel in Barnstaple in June for four months.

Winners will be announced in October.