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Marble Arch - Still Water Illumination

Description of Works

FM Conway has provided illumination works on the 33 ft high bronze "Still Water" sculpture situated at Marble Arch in central London.

The art piece, created by Nic Fiddian-Green in 2011, has become one of the city's most loved landmarks and has been donated on permanent loan to London.

Services used on this project Structures
Delivering Innovation

Nic Fiddian-Green has spent much of his artistic career interested in the horse as a subject, capturing the animal’s head in marble as a way of depicting the horse’s power, skill and beauty for 25 years.

To help encapsulate the artist’s vision, FM Conway’s Structures team - overseen on this project by apprentice Vickie Bathe - has illuminated the horse’s head sculpture for the Sladmore Gallery, working on behalf of Nic Fiddian-Green and the Bloodwise Charity.

Before work could begin, permits and utility traces had to be obtained and carried out to ensure the specifications of the lighting job around the structure. The works then involved upgrading the existing three no. 750W halogen lights surrounding the artwork and replacing them by installing four no. 100W LED lights.

Then a red cellophane was applied to each of the four fittings, before the installation of the protective cages that house the lights surrounding the structure. By utilising red cellophane, the team ensured that the project remained finished, however when it became time for the lights to revert back from red, the cellophane could simply be removed on request.

Over the course of eight days the team successfully delivered this project in the heart of London and went one step further by providing the innovative touch of lighting the sculpture red for September.

By illuminating the horse’s head in a shade of red – specifically RAL 2002, the team ensured FM Conway showed their support for blood cancer awareness month, as well as the artist, who has recently recovered from leukaemia.

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"The client was very happy with the final outcome and cost saving for the charity. My congratulations to all involved."

Structures Supervisor at FM Conway - Jason Critchell
Challenges and Solutions

The main project challenges were handling such a delicate sculpture and ensuring that throughout the project the piece of art was not damaged in any way.

By carrying out a utility tracing survey prior to the commencement of site work, the team could provide clear and accurate results on any possible sub-surface hazards, ensuring that health and safety risks were reduced and also allowing for informed planning for future works.

The main risks being that the team were required to work with electricity, as well as working with and excavating near existing shallow cables. To manage these the team appropriately carried out isolations to the electrical supply and also utilised the appropriate signage ensuring that power was left off throughout the works. Operatives would then carry out temporary works checks and monitor this throughout the day, as well as when leaving and coming to site.

Before this could be achieved there were difficulties with the ground type as the land around the sculpture was a very hard excavation area, making it difficult for the team to dig. To ensure the project still ran on time, extra operatives were utilised to dig the ground and keep the works on schedule.

Despite testing, electrical works also had to be revisited as there was a fault with the earthing which had to be addressed quickly, with approval from the client, before the team could continue.

Throughout the project, communication with the client was also a vital element of the successful completion of the works. Before any work could be started, permits had to be obtained from Westminster City Council and seek their approval before commencing the project.

Careful liaison with the client the Sladmore Gallery’s Director, Gerry Farrell, as well as the wife of artist Nic Fiddian-Green, was also crucial to allow for the swift completion of the project to coincide our support with blood cancer awareness month.



The Structures team completed this scheme following all appropriate safety regulations and within the specified time frame to deliver a successful project for the client. This was thanks in part to excellent communication with the specialist contractor, Proctor Electrical, the client and the family of the sculpture artist.

Commenting on the success of the works, FM Conway Structures Supervisor, Jason Critchell, said:

“As an exercise, although fully reviewed at each stage, Vickie and the team completed this minor scheme from start to finish. The client was very happy with the final outcome and cost saving for the charity. My congratulations to all involved.”

By cutting costs and reducing the scope of work originally proposed, FM Conway were able to achieve savings for the client, discounting the charity organisation Bloodwise by 30% due to the nature of the project.

FM Conway Structures Apprentice, Vickie Bathe, added:

“I would say the project was a success and I am very proud to have had my part in such a project that helped to raise awareness for the charity blood wise.”