Decommissioned oil rig See Monster to open as UK art installation in world first

The 450-tonne platform travelled on a barge as large as a football pitch to the south-west coast

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The world's first repurposed North Sea oil rig is reopening as a public art installation in a UK seaside town.

Called See Monster, the 450-tonne platform travelled on a barge as large as a football pitch from the North Sea to its new home in Weston-super-Mare.

It will use renewable energy sources to power it, including solar panels, wind turbines, a 10-metre waterfall and solar trees.

The 36-metre tall structure is expected to provide a fun, educational place, focusing on weather, climate change and green technologies, and a dedicated outreach team will talk about science, technology, engineering, arts and maths.

Once installed the structure will tower above the resort in height and have waterfalls cascading from it, transforming the rig into a thing of beauty.

The initiative has been created by Newsubstance, the creative team behind the opening ceremony of Expo 2020 Dubai.

Patrick O’Mahony, of Newsubstance, came up with the idea while at Expo 2020.

He wanted to create an art installation which would display how the British weather can be used to create a sustainable future, through wave and wind power.

The design for SEE MONSTER. Photo: New Substance

“This is one of our craziest, most ambitious ideas,” Mr O'Mahony told The National.

“All our other work has been working with the entertainment industry — this time we are having to get a core product from a totally different industry. It’s never been done.”

It is part of the UK government’s £120 million ($158.3m) year-long “Unboxed — Creativity in the UK free art initiative.

Unboxed is funding 10 large-scale, public art engagement projects to show off the UK’s creativity and innovation globally throughout 2022.

Updated: July 13, 2022, 1:27 PM