Dream to be used to help stressed workers sleep

Workmen add the finishing touches to Dream but could it now help people get a better night's sleep?
Workmen add the finishing touches to Dream but could it now help people get a better night's sleep?

St Helens iconic Dream statue, which famously depicts a young girl sleeping, is to play host to a unique project designed to help stressed office workers get better rest.

The project is the brainchild of numerous organisations and sleep experts believe anyone in need of a better night’s sleep will find the sight of the famous 66ft sculpture soothing.

Artist Jaume Plensa at the launch of Dream, which depicts a young girl meditating

Artist Jaume Plensa at the launch of Dream, which depicts a young girl meditating

Prof Lea Prolof, from the Institute of Polysomnography, said experts had visited the Bold monument several times and concluded it had “restful qualities”.

She said insomniacs would spend an evening gazing at the statue, which was created by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa following a commission by former miners in St Helens, before hopefully dozing off under the night sky.

“We spent a lot of time and effort looking for the right location for this project and when we came across Dream we just thought it was perfect,” said Prof Prolof.

“While it is an engaging piece of art by day, at night we think that it has hitherto hidden qualities.

We’re hoping to sleep at the top of the hill, preferably alfresco, by the statue so we’re currently in negotiations with St Helens Council to get them to turn the floodlights off

Prof Lea Prolof, sleep expert

“It’s size and shape, together with the girl’s eyes in repose, combine to create a sophomoric effect which we hope to be able to harness and put to good use.”

In 2008 St Helens took part in Channel 4’s The Big Art Project along with several other sites.

The project culminated in the unveiling of Dream on the old Sutton Manor Colliery site.

Dream consists of an elongated white structure, weighing 500 tons, which has been cast to resemble the head and neck of a young woman with her eyes closed in meditation.

The structure is coated in sparkling white Spanish dolomite, as a contrast to the coal which used to be mined here. It cost nearly £1.9 million.

Creator Jaume Plensa said: “When I first came to the site I immediately thought something coming out of the earth was needed. I decided to do a head of a nine-year-old girl which is representing this idea of the future. It’s unique.”

And Prof Prolof added: “Jaume’s ideas tie in perfectly with our own.

“We’re hoping to sleep at the top of the hill, preferably alfresco, by the statue so we’re currently in negotiations with St Helens Council to get them to turn the floodlights off.

“There’s also the serious issue of dog muck but we hoping to have eradicated that before we set up shop there.”