A mini bronze sculpture of our town’s favourite comedy duo took centre stage at a London exhibition by the creator of the Eric Morecambe Statue.
The maquette of Morecambe and Wise had pride of place at Graham Ibbeson’s ‘Art of Comedy’ display in the Lavery Room, South Kensington.
Also on show was a sculpture of Eric’s boot, based on the standing foot left behind after the statue was vandalised in October 2014.
The private exhibition was held partly to raise funds for a larger-sized version of the Eric and Ernie frieze.
It was attended by members of Eric’s family and Bob Golding, the TV and West End actor who played the late comic in a one-man touring stage show.
Graham said: “The exhibition brought a lot of goodwill towards the project and we made a lot of great contacts, it was really positive.”
Aside from the boot and the Eric and Ernie artwork, Graham also exhibited an original sketch of the Eric Morecambe statue, a fibreglass version of the statue itself, a lifesize Laurel and Hardy, a Benny Hill, a portrait of Les Dawson, a small maquette of Norman Wisdom, a working study of the Morecambe and Wise wall art, and a series of prototypes of the Eric statue which were held in storage by The Visitor for safekeeping until we returned them to Graham last year.
“People went into the room and it took their breath away,” he said.
“We think we’ve secured a buyer for ‘the boot’ and we sold a life-size version of Eric, and some drawings. Everybody loved the idea of the ‘wall relief’, including Ernie Wise’s solicitor. Gail (Eric’s daughter) was there every day. It was a good atmosphere.”
A second exhibition has now been secured at a major London banking chain.
A campaign is running to raise £70,000 for Graham to create a large-scale, free-standing Morecambe and Wise monument in the resort where Eric was born. The aim is to reunite Eric and Ernie next summer in time for the 75th anniversary of their first gig as a comedy duo, which was also when Eric first took the name ‘Morecambe’.