A NEW plaque has been unveiled for a sculpture in Queens Park after the original was lost many years ago. 

Joseph Ingleby’s steel sculpture – entitled Turtle Storm – is a familiar attraction near the lake.

It was donated to the council – then Thamesdown – by the Dufty family in 1994 before finding its home in the park the following year. 

Joseph based the sculpture on the suffering of turtles because of nuclear testing in the Pacific Ocean during the 1980s. 

He said: “I wanted it to be made in an abstract way and the way I was expecting it was to be metamorphic, so showing things changing with the shell landscape seen above.

“My ideas are the balance between the man-made and the natural environment so there is that imbalance there throughout my work."

Joseph released his work in 1986 – his final year at the University College of Creative Arts in Farnham. It was then displayed in front of the college.

It was then bought for Kelmscott Manor in Oxfordshire, the country home of William Morris, in 1989. When the Society of Antiquaries took ownership of the house it wanted to retain only artefacts of the designer and poet’s lifetime from 1834-96, so the sculpture was gifted to the council. 

“The original plaque was lost and we have no idea how,” Joseph said. “It was already nine went it came to the town. The only thing I would change is the name because I have two artworks coincidentally with the word ‘storm’ in them.” 

Originally from East Yorkshire, Joseph now lives in Glasgow and is working on the LOCUS project – a new public art trail in Lerwick.

He said: “I’m very happy with the location as it’s the right spirit for it. I’m pleased it has been maintained and there has been an area designed for it to go on. Children climb on it which keeps it shiny but it’s brilliant it has interaction and people use it.” 

“I would like to thank the parish council and it’s a great honour to have the plaque reinstated.” 

The plaque was unveiled this week after being commissioned by South Swindon Parish Council.

Chair of the environment working party Linda Kasmaty said: “Fascinated by the sculpture in Queens Park, I looked up Joseph Ingleby’s website, emailed him, and asked if he would give a talk to the Friends of Swindon Museum and Art Gallery, which he did. Following the talk, I suggested we needed a plaque to accompany the sculpture.”

“Who knew Joe had made it? But the plaque was designed by Joe and then paid for by the parish so it’s just perfect.” 

Angela Atkinson from Born Again Swindon added: “It is really nice to see as I’ve only recently looked up about it to do some digging about it.

“When you go nearer it becomes clear that it’s a deformed turtle. It’s a nice organic shape that fits in front of the water and it’s nice to see some explanation alongside it.”