Rainbow to get a splash of colour

The landmark Rainbow sculpture in Hemel Hempstead is to get a facelift.

A mosaic artist will be brought in to replace the tiles on the well-known structure, which has started to look a bit dog-eared.

Jim Guiton, town centre manager, told a meeting of Dacorum Borough Council's planning and regeneration scrutiny committee: "It was quite difficult to find someone to carry out works to the Rainbow.

"That work will start in August. The whole area will be covered with scaffolding and sheeted. Hopefully we can do an unveiling ceremony."

The work will be carried out by Gary Drostle, who has completed many public art works across the country.

"The original architect has been contacted. He is delighted we're going to be refurbishing it," Mr Guiton told councillors.

The work involves removing the ceramic tiles of the original sculpture and replacing them with glass tiles, which will have a rough, textured finish.

The refurb, costing 15,000, will retain the Rainbow's pattern and shape.

The Residents' Rainbow - to use its proper name - was unveiled in 1993.

The sculpture is 9ft high and 18ft long and was constructed out of fibreglass covered with 5,000 tiles.

Each tile was individually cut and stuck on by hand.

It was constructed by Colin Lambert, an artist based in California.

A council spokesman said: "It was created to symbolise the optimism and aspiration of the first people to settle in the town after the Second World War."

Mr Drostle is based in Woolwich, south east London, and produces murals and mosaic works including commissions in Bedford, Lytham St Annes, Staines, Cambridge and the US.

He was elected president of the British Association of Modern Mosaic in 2005. His work has won many awards including most recently the best architectural award at the Mosaic Arts International in Miami, Florida, in 2008.