Midsummer Play Sculpture
The sculpture, Midsummer Play, created by artists Charles Vess and David Spence stands on Main Street in Abingdon at the corner of Porterfield Square.
This 16-foot sculpture featuring Titania and based on Shakepeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream has been in creation for more than three years, and was finally completed and installed in the spring of 2009.
Facts on the Sculpture:
Collaborative effort from David Spence and Charles Vess
Height & Diameter: 16' high x 15'
Titania is 800 pounds.
Tree base is 400 pounds.
-Bronze, 2 tons
-Clay, approx. 2,000 lbs
Tree: 450 pieces (including over 300 individually cast ivy leaves)
Titania: 106 pieces
Stones: 8-14 pieces each
3 attending Fairies: approx 8-10 pieces each
2 Foxes: 6 pieces each
1 Hare: 8 pieces
Single cast: 1 Turtle, 4 small birds, 1 small fairy riding a mouse.
William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream provided the inspiration for the creation of the design for a 16-foot tall sculpture for Porterfield Square. The sculpture depicts Titania, queen of the fairies, holding a tragedy mask, with Puck offering up a comedy mask. The Vess/Spence collaboration works; you clearly see Vess’s fantasy influence, and it complements beautifully with Spence’s whimsical animals looking on.
Vess, internationally known and published fantasy artist, and creator of Barter’s logo. Vess is also excited that a previous book with Neil Gaiman, “Stardust – Being a Romance Within the Realms of Faerie” (Vertigo/DC Comics) is currently being made into Paramount Picture Movie starring Robert DeNiro, Michelle Pfieffer and Claire Danes.
David Spence, world-renowned sculptor has worked in all sorts of mediums including: stone, wood, and bronze. He returned to Abingdon in 2004 and is currently working on a new series of large-scale sculptures in wood and metal combinations.
Several entities partnered with Vess and Spence to complete this project including BulWil and the Town of Abingdon who assisted with engineering and planning; Something Fishy, who has helped with the water features; Anthony Dean, welder; and Marsh Gas.
When plans for Porterfield Square were first conceived, Richard Rose, producing artistic director, knew early on he wanted to preserve green space with the hope that it would one day be filled with public art pieces for everyone to enjoy. Midsummer Play joins a piece of art already on Stonewall Square, David Spence’s Fantasy on Parade displayed outside The Barter Café.