Scultor "Came Back from Dead" to Create Goaloids

Inspirational story behind Elliott Brook's football inspired sculpture

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Elliott Brook, the man behind the new Goaloids on Shepherd's Bush Green, believes he "came back from the dead" to create the football inspired sculpture.

Five years ago, Elliott was on a life support machine after suffering a stroke while in a pneumonia-related coma. And he says: " “A stroke is something that normally affects half of your brain, whether it be your speech, creativity or memory.

"In 2007, I was nearly gone. I came back from the dead to do this."

Elliott, a devoted fan of Queens Park Rangers, lost the use of his left side and is now confined to a wheelchair.  But as he fought his way back to health, the idea for the Goaloids began to take shape.

After working on the project for four years, the Glasgow School of Art graduate faced another ordeal earlier this year as he waited to see if the Arts Council would award him a grant to see his dream come true.

After what he called "the longest and worst four months of my life" the grant was approved at the end of June.

The 41-foot sculpture, part of Hammersmith and Fulham's contribution to the Cultural Olympiad, is a set of goal-posts sitting on rotating car turntables on Shepherd’s Bush Green -  the historic scene of the British football team’s Olympic triumph in 1908.

Each Goaloid is constructed in metal and based on the dimensions of a set of goalposts. Each rotates in opposite directions for 45 minutes, stops, then reverses for the next 45 minutes - thus the whole rotation lasts the same time as a football match.

The Goaloids were officially switched on by the Mayor of Hammersmith & Fulham, Cllr Belinda Donovan on Thursday, July 26, the day before the opening of the 2012 Games.

She says: "Elliott Brook's Goaloids have sprung up in Shepherd's Bush to huge acclaim to local residents. They have attracted interest from thousands of passers-by all keen to take a closer look at these magnificent works of art.

"It was a huge privilege to officially turn-on the Goaloids and the council would like to thank Elliott for brightening up our borough with his wonderful sculptures."

Elliott, who lives in Somerset, came to W12 for the switch on ceremony with wife Bryony and daughters Amber and Phoebe. Afterwards he tweeted: " Fantastic day!"

And he told the Western Gazette: " He said: "It was a spectacular experience. Almost four years of stress and hard work has all come off.

"Seeing the sculpture finished makes me very proud, but it's also a great relief. There were so many times we could have given up, but we carried on, battled through the tough times and completed the job.

"I'd like to think we've helped contribute to the long-lasting legacy of the Olympics."

The Goaloids sculpture will stay on Shepherd's Bush Green throughout the Olympics, but may stay permanently if an agreement is made.


August 7, 2012