Events Archive

  • Jeremy Deller's 'Sacrilege'
  • 4 July 2012, 10.00am to 6.00pm
  • Priory Park, Southend-on-Sea

Stonehenge goes on tour – 'Sacrilege' by Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller comes to Southend-on-Sea as part of the 2012 celebrations.

With just over a month to go to the start of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, 'Sacrilege', the life-sized inflatable replica of Stonehenge for people to bounce on by Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller, is coming to Southend-on-Sea on 4 July as part of a tour that will see it travel to twenty-five locations across the country.

A co-commission between Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art and the Mayor of London, the work was enormously popular when, supported by Creative Scotland, it appeared in Glasgow earlier this year. With support from Arts Council England it is now travelling around the country as part of the nationwide London 2012 Festival.

Deller's 'Sacrilege' is aimed at people of all ages and its appearance in Southend is expected to attract a lot of local interest, adding to the excitement of the country hosting the 2012 Games. It is also light-hearted

way for people to think about one of the UK's most iconic historic monuments.

Deller has said: 'A lot of my work deals with history, and 'Sacrilege' is no exception, this is a way to get reacquainted with ancient Britain with your shoes off.'

Ruth Mackenzie, Director, London2012 Festival, said: 'Jeremy Deller’s life-sized inflatable replica of Stonehenge popping up in National Botanic Garden in Carmarthenshire will be a fantastic opening event for the London 2012 Festival in Wales. The work embodies many of the values of the London 2012 Festival – it is a once in lifetime event, it is a remarkable piece of art by a world renowned artist, and it is free for everyone to enjoy. With thanks to Arts Council England and the Mayor’s office this work will travel around the UK and London, popping up to delight London 2012 Festival audiences throughout the summer.'

As Sacrilege moves across the country the growing tribe of followers is being encouraged to 'offer their images to the gods' by uploading

photos of themselves on the installation onto Flickr to create gigantic on-line clan. To check opening times and local weather conditions for each venue, members of the public should follow Sacrilege on Twitter to receive updates direct from the heavens @Sacrilege2012.

'Bouncers' are being encouraged to download free ‘Druid Beards’ from the Sacrilege website – colour them in and arrive in druid fancy dress.

The first venue on this nomadic tour of the UK is the National Botanic Garden of Wales in west Wales, where the inflatable monument will appear on 21 June, marking the first day of the London 2012 Festival. The transient monument will also travel to Redruth; Exeter; Marlborough; Peterborough; Yorkshire Sculpture Park; Gateshead; Milton Keynes; Bristol; and Belfast. It will also appear at fourteen locations in different boroughs across London. Its final appearance will be at the North West’s closing celebration, WE PLAY Expo at Preston guild 2012 on 9 September, the last day of the Paralympic Games and London 2012


Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England said: 'Deller’s playful and irreverent work is bound to capture the hearts, minds and inner-child of people across the country, and I’m delighted the Arts Council has been able to help make this fun-filled tour happen. Sacrilege pleasing the crowds once more marks the start of a summer that I hope will be remembered as much for the excitement of its cultural experiences as for its sporting victories.'

In London, Sacrilege is being presented by the Mayor of London and the London 2012 Festival as part of Surprises, which sees new work suddenly appearing at different locations.

A full list of tour venues follows:

Thursday 21 June
National Botanic Garden of Wales, Carmarthenshire, Wales

Sunday 24 June
Heartlands, Redruth, Cornwall

Tuesday 26 June
Belmont Park, Exeter

Friday 29 June
Marlborough Common, Wiltshire

Wednesday 4 July
Priory Park, Southend-on-Sea

Saturday 7 July
Flag Fen, Peterborough

Wednesday 11 July
Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Sunday 15 July
Saltwell Park, Gateshead

Friday 20 July
Fishermead, Milton Keynes

Saturday 21 – Sunday 22 July
Central Park, Greenwich, London

Wednesday 25 July
King Edward VII Park, Brent, London

Saturday 28 July
Paddington Recreation Ground, Westminster, London

Sunday 29 July
Cheam Park, Sutton, London

Tuesday 31 July
Ravenscourt Park, Hammersmith & Fulham, London

Wednesday 1 August
Hampstead Heath, Camden, London

Thursday 2 August
Clapham Common, Lambeth, London

Saturday 4 August
Burgess Park, Southwark, London

Sunday 5 August
Barra Hall Park, Hillingdon, London

Tuesday 7 August
East Ham Central Park, Newham, London

Thursday 9 August
Crystal Palace, Bromley, London

Friday 10 August
Alexandra Palace, Haringey, London

Saturday 11 August
Christchurch Green, Redbridge, London

Sunday 12 August
The Waterworks Nature Reserve, Lee Valley Park, Enfield, London

Saturday 18 August
College Green, Bristol

Sunday 26 August
Grove Playing Fields, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Sunday 9 September
Preston Guild, Frenchwood Recreation Ground, Preston