Olympic duo in Clitheroe sculpture tribute

OLYMPIC duo Samantha Murray and Jon Schofield finished off a fantastic year with a festive presentation from Ribble Valley Borough Council.

Council leader Michael Ranson presented the Clitheroe athletes with personalised pieces of artwork marking their success at the London 2012 Olympics at a presentation at the Platform Gallery in Clitheroe on Sunday.

Samantha, 23, won the silver medal in the modern pentathlon, while Jon, 27, took bronze in the canoe sprint, alongside his kayaking partner, Liam Heath.

The medalists were honoured at a civic reception and victory parade through Clitheroe immediately after the Olympics.

But the council then commissioned top pewter artist Ella McIntosh, who grew up in Clitheroe and is a former Clitheroe Royal Grammar School pupil, to produce personalised pieces of artwork for the triumphant pair.

Samantha's features a swimmer, show-jumper, runner, pistol-shooter and fencer, while Jonathan's captures the final dramatic moments of his race to the finishing line in his two-man kayak.

The bowls sit on oak plinths made by master woodworker Paul Case, of Osbaldeston.

Speaking about the beautiful pieces of art Samantha said: “It was a lovely thought by Ribble Valley Borough Council to comission an artist to make something which is so personal.

“It’s a beautiful piece of art and a lovely early Christmas gift from the council and the artist.”

Jon said: “It’s great to have something produced by a Clitheroe artist to keep as a momento from this year. It will definitely tak pride of place. I really like it.”

Designer Ella, 26, who is one of the UK’s leading pewter designers studied extensive footage of Samantha and Jon from the London games.has designed and produced bowls for the medalists featuring figurines engaged in their respective sports.

She said: "I have never worked with figurines before, so this commission posed a unique challenge and I am pleased with the result.

"It was an honour to work on a piece commemorating the Olympic success of two outstanding athletes from my home borough."

Ribble Valley Borough Council leader Michael Ranson said: "I am delighted to be presenting them with these fine pieces of artwork marking their incredible success at London 2012 and the ongoing pride that they bring to the borough."

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