Industrial Heritage Stronghold
Luke Perry Sculptor
Monument to Aids & HIV
The Ribbons National Monument to AIDS and HIV – December 2022 – Birmingham City Centre – Hippodrome Square
The Ribbons is a 7 metre tall memorial to honour those lost to AIDS and those living with HIV is has been unveiled.
The unveiling event in the new Hippodrome Square saw hundreds attend to mark the occasion, coming
together for a night of rememberance, celebration, and education.
The piece was concept designed by Garry Jones, a Gar Rights campaigner, member f the AIDS and HIV community and established artist. Arry approached Luke who was able to turn the strong concept into a sculpture, and from his beginning raise funding and build the work.
Fabricated from 4 tons of Coreten Steel with one ribbon painted and one red the piece is a permanent reminder of the gains and losses of both medicine and the rights of the Queer community.
Luke Perry said:
: “Garry and I worked together to turn his initial paper design concept model into the actual sculpture. His design was so simple and iconic that I knew that we could, with great structural difficulty, turn it into a huge monument.
“After working on the design with Garry, I was able to work at my workshop with a small team of metal workers, crane operators and forklift drivers to build the four huge steel arms of the ribbons before welding them together in open-air. The project looks simple, but the techniques to make it are very time-consuming and complicated, as well as sometimes dangerous.
“The material is Coreten Steel, a weathering steel which will not degrade even though it rusts. It is a huge sculpture because Garry and I knew that we needed to make the biggest and most visible statement we could.
“It's taken a full year to produce, and I don't know if I've ever been so proud of anything before.”
The huge sculpture shows two AIDS ribbons which have been dipped into heart shapes, with a rusting ribbon entwined with a red ribbon, to illustrate the devastating impact of AIDS and the pain that it caused the gay community.