Dream start - Plensa wins art prize

Dream artist Jaumue Plensa has won a prestigious award for the work on the giant artwork.

Spanish artist Plensa picked up the British Precast Creativity in Concrete Award for 2009 for his design of Dream - a 20m-high sculpture on the site of the old Sutton Manor colliery which depicts the image of a girl's head with her eyes closed.

He flew in specially from Canada to collect the award in a special ceremony at Southwark Cathedral.

The Creativity in Concrete Award is presented each year to an architect, designer or artist in recognition of a particular achievement for the creative use of the material.

In 2008 it was presented to esteemed Danish architect, the late Jorn Utzon, for his creative use of precast on a number of projects, most notably the magnificent Sydney Opera House.

Jaume said: "By artists and manufacturers working together they open their minds up to new possibilities and that's when something succeeds - just like Dream. Ideas without materials simply can't exist."

Martin Clarke, of British Precast, added: "We are thrilled that Jaume chose concrete for Dream, the first time he has featured our material, and we are delighted to make this award. Dream stands out, quite literally, this year and is a beacon of optimism for the precast industry as well as for the North West region and the local community."

Dream has already received significant acclaim from across the globe, attracting comments and interest from as far afield as India, Brazil, the Middle East and Canada.

Recently the sculpture received a commendation at the Northwest Royal Town Planning Institute awards for Best Community Artwork.

Councillor Wally Ashcroft, St Helens Council's executive member for culture, sport and heritage, said: "This is another great accolade for Dream and highlights the growing acclaim that the spectacular landmark sculpture is receiving.

"Such awards generate great interest in public art and focuses on St Helens as a progressive location for regeneration, encouraging growth in our tourism and business sectors. It is a great testament to the hard work, determination and creativity of the people and communities involved in the realisation of Dream."