NEW public sculptures will have pride of place in Musselburgh after a £76,000 cash boost from Tesco.

Michael Johnson of Nottinghamshire will create Memory and Reflection, a stainless steel piece in the shape of a mussel shell.

Svetlana Kondakova and Maja Quille, both graduates of Edinburgh College of Art, are working on The Archer, a life-size bronze cast of an archer and 12 steel arrows. The artists have been commissioned to undertake the work, which is being funded by Tesco with £38,000 for each of the two sculptures, as part of East Lothian Council’s Percent for Art Policy.

Mr Johnson said: “The shell of the sculpture will depict aspects of Musselburgh’s history with images of agriculture, people, connections to the sea, the river and the Romans.

“The face of the sculpture will be mirror polished and will reflect whatever stands before it.

“These two aspects of the shell, the memory and reflection, I see as strong metaphors for a work which interprets the history of the town and also offers a reflection of how we view the town now.”

The Archer has been inspired by local history, with three important aspects of the town’s heritage represented: the Roman invasion in AD 80, the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh in 1547, and the Musselburgh Silver Arrow, which dates back to 1603 and is claimed to be the oldest sporting trophy in the world.

The 12 arrows will form a trail to key places in the town in terms of history, culture and community.

Following consultation about public artworks called 'The Dabbling Project', undertaken by Ice Cream Architecture, the council’s arts service brought together a group to select the artists and oversee the project. Representatives included Musselburgh Area Partnership, Musselburgh and Inveresk Community Council, Musselburgh Conservation Group, council officers and councillors.

Cllr Tim Day, cabinet member for community wellbeing, said: “I have no doubt that these artists will provide works of outstanding beauty to fully complement the town and its cultural heritage.

“They will serve to celebrate Musselburgh and act as permanent works of art for all residents and visitors to Musselburgh to enjoy for many years to come.”

The location of the artworks will be agreed through consultation and an assessment of the suitability of sites, with an unveiling in the autumn of 2016.

The project will be officially launched towards the end of this month, with a chance to meet the artists and find out more about their artworks.

The artists will also be leading workshops with the public to assist with the design development.