The last sculpture created by a renowned local artist before he died has been given its permanent home as a legacy of his charity work.
Paul Karslake designed and crafted ‘Leporum Fisher’ to help launch the Havens Hospices ‘Hares About Town’ Art Trail. Unbeknown to many, Paul had been commissioned to produce a custom piece of art to stand outside the new Fair Havens building in Prittlewell which opened in March 2020.
Sadly, the 61-year-old died at the start of the pandemic before he started on these concepts. After Leporum Fisher was brought back to Havens Hospices by a crowdfunding campaign last year – which raised more than £20,000 – it was agreed that the sculpture would be Paul’s lasting legacy to the charity and the community of Southend, which he loved.
Unveiled on Wednesday 7th December, the 6ft high hare sculpture has been placed upon a plinth outside Fair Havens on Priory Crescent. The plinth was created by Forterra and Bison Precast Concrete, and decorated by artist Luke Bryant.
Surrounded by solar lights so the sculpture can be seen at night, the name Leporum means hare in Latin and Fisher as Paul’s hare was of Old Leigh at sunset.
Paul’s wife, Sandra was in attendance to see the sculpture at its forever home. She says, “Paul was proud to be asked to paint the first Hare for the Havens Hospices event, Hares about Town. He enjoyed taking the hare around Southend to help promote the event with the team.
“He realised what a wonderful and important place like Havens Hospices is to the local community, particularly after his mother became unwell. Living in Devon, she did not have the support that a place like Fair Havens offers local families.
“Paul’s hare, Leporum Fisher, has even more meaning since Paul’s death in March 2020 as it is part of Paul that lives on. It is a fitting tribute that it is now permanently on display at Fair Havens in Southend.”
Louise Gloyne is from Havens Hospices and knew Paul and his family. She says, “Instead of the commissioned piece for the hospice that Paul could not sadly complete, we were lucky to be able to have Leporum Fisher the first hare sculpture by Paul brought back to the new hospice as his forever home. It seems only right that Paul is the first artist credited with a piece at the new hospice building.”
Hares About Town was the first public art trail organised by Havens Hospices, with its second coming in 2023, called Herd In The City. More details can be found at www.herdinthe.city
Published 7th December 2022