Malcolm Curley, popular sculptor in Totnes, has released his most recent artwork into the Totnes Leat.

Mr Curley, who is in his 80s, started his sculpture project as part of an ‘Art in the Community Project’, putting more than 200 of his sculptures in a variety of locations around Totnes.

He has released a variety of animal sculptures from bears and beers, to the Totnes monster.

His most recent artwork is a floating cat that was released into Totnes leat.

Malcolm described the origins behind his newest work: “The idea for the sculpture came from an ornament I always rather liked, of a mouse sitting in a coconut shell and rowing. Someone had given me a colourful umbrella to recycle, and it occurred to me that this would make a nice boat for an animal. I then tested it for a week or two on my garden pond, just to make sure it stayed afloat.”

He explained this is not the first time he has created artwork that acts as a flotation device: “I made a mermaid some years ago which lived on Clevedon marine lake, coping with the tides and the occasionally over-enthusiastic swimmers who would swim across to greet her.  She was kept afloat with hidden boat fenders underneath her.”

Morrisons are the custodians of the leat, and Malcolm was able to get permission to float his cat and kingfisher sculpture there with the assistance of local Morrisons Community Champion, Liz. He said: “Very helpfully, one of the staff members, Tom, waded into the leat and secured the umbrella boat in the water.”

Malcolm requests that if people enjoy his sculptures, they make a donation to a charity of their coice, but does not charge for his art. He uses recycled materials as much as possible.

Malcolm has enjoyed creating this floating sculpture, adding: “Perhaps a crocodile or a hippopotamus may appear in the future.”