At the end of Morecambe Bay heading towards Carnforth there’s a delightful sculpture beside the promenade. A sturdy, naked female seated on the grass appears to be swinging a small figure around in the air. As you drive past you get an impression of exuberant playfulness but I bet you would never guess that evocative sculpture is known locally as ‘Venus and Cupid’.
It was created by local artist Shane Johnstone, who erected it in 2005 at Scalestones Point in 2005. Originally a fairground artist, Shane has created an art work that has an exhuberance and childlike innocence that brings a smile to all who see it. It’s made from tiny coloured mosaic pieces and glitters in the sunshine. In 2011 Morecambe Bay town council voted against buying it from the artist and it was going to be dismantled. However, a local campaign was set up to raise funds and so far it is still in place.
Mr Johnstone said public support had made him change his mind about destroying it. “People love it. There are dozens of sculptures along the promenade and the two that get talked about are Eric Morecambe and my sculpture,” he said. You often see children climbing all over it and at Christmas Cupid is often bedecked with festive tinsel.
If you can, see it at sunset. Light focuses on the figures and shadows play across their faces and the shimmering water or undulating (and yes, dangerous) sands spreading out towards the Lake District fells and the Irish Sea.
Watch this short video for more views of Morecambe Bay from the north promenade.
So next time you’re rushing up or down the motorway in Lancashire, take time to stop off in Morecambe to visit quirkilicious Venus and Cupid and enjoy the view – well worth a detour off the M6 …