The Betty Campbell Monument, located in Cardiff City Centre has been announced as the winner of the public vote at the prestigious Public Statues and Sculpture Association PSSA Marsh Awards 2022 for Excellence in Public Sculpture.
The monument was declared the winner in a ceremony held online on Thursday November 24th, securing the award after being named part of a nine-strong shortlist earlier in the autumn. The Betty Campbell Monument was the only work nominated from Wales.
The monument, designed and created by renowned figurative sculptor Eve Shepherd was unveiled, to much acclaim, in Cardiff city centre in September 2021 following a campaign by the Monumental Welsh Women group. For the first time in the history of the awards, the public were given a chance to vote for their favourite work.
Sculptor Eve Shepherd spoke of her delight at the win: “I am truly honoured that The Betty Campbell Monument has won the Public vote. Who, in my opinion, is better qualified to judge sculptures made for public spaces, than the public themselves! A public sculpture depicting not only women, but the black community has been long overdue and I’m proud of the Monumental Welsh Women’s Committee, Betty Campbell’s family, the people of Cardiff and the Black community for entrusting me to represent this sculpture and an incredible woman. Thank you to all who took the time out of their busy lives to vote for The Betty Campbell Monument.”
Helen Molyneux, Chair of Monumental Welsh Women added: “We’re delighted that Eve Shepherd’s groundbreaking monument of Betty Campbell has been honoured in this way. It’s a true testament to the visual and emotional impact that the monument has had in its relatively short time in situ in Cardiff City Centre. Eve Shepherd’s multi-layered work has been taken into the hearts of people not only in Wales, but the world over and this award is a wonderful honour to our monumental women.”
The full shortlist for the Award ran as follows:
Alex Chinneck, A Spring in your Step, Circus Street, Brighton, Sussex
Alexandre da Cunha, Sunset, Sunrise, Sunset, Battersea Power Station Underground, London SW8
Laurence Edwards, A Rich Seam, Print Office Street, Doncaster, West Yorkshire
Laurence Edwards, Yoxman, The Suffolk Colossus, Cockfield Hall, Yoxford, Suffolk
Diane Lawrenson, Contemplation, Anne Lister, Piece Hall, Halifax, West Yorkshire
Veronica Ryan, Custard Apple (Annonaceae), Breadfruit (Moraceae) and Soursop (Annonaceae), Narrow Way Square, Hackney, London E8
Eve Shepherd, The Betty Campbell Monument, Central Square, Cardiff, Wales
Lee Simmons – The Tay Whale, Dundee Waterfront, Dundee, Scotland
Ben Twiston-Davies, Ebenezer Howard, Howardsgate, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire
The Betty Campbell Monument was also shortlisted for the Public Statues and Sculpture Association Marsh Award for Excellence in Public Sculpture, the winner of which – Veronica Ryan, was decided by a judging panel.
Celebrating the life, work and legacy of Betty Campbel, the monument is the first of five statues of named Welsh women being erected by Monumental Welsh Women and was the first ever statue of a non-fictionalised Welsh woman erected in a public space in Wales.
Monumental Welsh Women is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to recognising the contribution of women to the history and life of Wales. Founded to change the fact that no statues of real, non-fictionalised Welsh women exist in Wales, the group is working to change this. Monumental Welsh Women’s mission is to erect 5 statues honouring 5 Welsh women in 5 different locations around Wales in 5 years. It’s a huge challenge. The profiles of the first 5 women the group wants to commemorate, and information on the Monumental Welsh Women campaign, can be found here.