Local artist Elisabeth Hadley has been chosen by the public to create and install a permanent tribute to one of Torbay’s most famous daughters, Dame Agatha Christie.

The public vote which ran between 14 December 2021 and 16 January 2022, saw Elisabeth receive 55% of the total votes.

Elisabeth, who is a sculptor, based in Brixham will now begin to bring her proposal to life.

The new bronze tribute will show the ‘Queen of Crime’ who has many connections to Torbay, sitting on a bench, thoughtfully contemplating her next great work, or otherwise admiring the surroundings she was so passionate about.

A total of five artists were shortlisted following a public call out in September 2021.

Commissioned as part of our £2.2million Strand regeneration works after successfully securing £21.9million from the Towns Fund to improve and enhance Torquay’s town centre. The works which are anticipated to commence in the spring will see several improvements to the public space including minimising traffic on the Strand, increased and enhanced pedestrian areas, a new public transport hub and space for events and food festivals.

Elisabeth’s creation is due to be unveiled later in the year.

Cllr Swithin Long, Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, Tourism and Housing for Torbay Council, said; “Enhancing and celebrating Torquay’s and Torbay’s cultural heritage is a key aspect of our regeneration plans. Agatha Christie is well known around the world, with many people visiting Torbay each year to learn about what inspired her work. The new sculpture will capture that essence perfectly and really complement the new look Strand.”

Cllr Mike Morey, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture, for Torbay Council, said; “It is fantastic that the public has chosen a local artist to create this specially commissioned piece of artwork. Linking together a local artist and a world-famous writer to celebrate Torbay’s ever growing cultural offer is really quite special. I’d like to thank all of the artists for their submissions and offer my congratulations to Elisabeth.”

Elisabeth Hadley said; “I am thrilled to have been chosen by the public to sculpt Dame Agatha Christie with her little dog ‘Peter’ and I am really looking forward to getting started on the sculpture. It is wonderful that so many people loved my design and wanted to give me their vote.”

Learn more about Elisabeth Hadley and this project.  

Winning artist Elisabeth Hadley with an impression of what her sculpture will look like

Winning artist Elisabeth Hadley with an impression of what her sculpture will look like

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