Tired of London, Tired of Life - One thing a day to do in London

A website about things to do in London

Showing posts with label Sculpture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sculpture. Show all posts

11 September 2012

See the London Bridge City Sculpture Exhibition

Situated alongside the Thames in front of Cottons Centre, close to Hay's Galleria, London Bridge City Sculpture Exhibition 2011-12 brings eight sculptures by established artists to the riverside.


The eight colourful sculptures use various media, including cast iron, galvanised steel, fibreglass and cold cast bronze and are designed by artists Jilly Sutton, Michael Lyons, Charles Hadcock, Martin Griffiths, Oliver Barratt and Sheila Vollmer.

For more, see http://www.rbsdevelopment.co.uk/events/london-bridge-city-sculpture

19 June 2012

Find Temple Stairs Arch

The face of a man your author always thought was Old Father Thames but others state -probably correctly - is Neptune graces the front of Temple Stairs Arch on Victoria Embankment.


The monument was installed in 1868 as part of Joseph Bazalgette's design for the Embankment, though beneath it a memorial of 1935 sits, erected by the Port of London Authority to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of King George V, when the particular stretch of the River Thames was renamed as the "King's Reach".

For more on the area, see http://www.london-footprints.co.uk/wkembankmentgrdnsroute.htm

18 June 2012

See Paolozzi's Newton at the British Library

In the gardens at the front of the British Library a hunched-over statue sculpture by Eduardo Paolozzi can be seen on a plinth, making mathematical examinations.


Installed in 1995, the hunched sculpture is based on William Blake's 1795 print Newton. In the print, Isaac Newton crouches naked a rock covered with algae, seemingly on the seabed.

For more, see http://www.newton.ac.uk/art/paolozzi.html

19 March 2012

See Alexander's Jubilee Oracle

One of a number of pieces of art on the South Bank, Alexander's Jubilee Oracle dates from 1980 and is a bronze sculpture found on the walkway between the Royal Festival Hall and the London Eye.


The Oracle stands on a plith, inscribed with a quote from the artist, reading 'Mankind is capable of an awareness that is outside the range of everyday life. My monumental sculptures are created to communicate with that awareness in a way similar to classical music. Just as most symphonies are not intended to be descriptive, so these works do not represent figures or objects'.

For more, see http://www.southbanklondon.com/walkthisway/SculptureStroll.html

25 November 2011

See the Monolith (Empyrean)

Commissioned by London County Council and sculpted by Barbara Hepworth, Monolith (Empyrean) originally stood on the South Bank outside the Royal Festival Hall, where it was erected in 1953, but nowadays it is found in a rather more sedate setting on the lawn of Hampstead's Kenwood House.


The Monolith is made of limestone and is a designated Grade II Listed structure, standing nearly nine feet high. Some suggest it commemorates the death of Barbara Hepworth's son, Paul, who was killed in service for the RAF in Malaya in 1953.

For more information, see http://www.barbarahepworth.org.uk/commissions/list/monolith-empyrean.html

26 June 2011

Admire the Albert Gate Stags

Guarding the Albert Gate to Hyde Park are two bronze stags which we are told once graced the Piccadilly entrance to the Deputy Ranger's Lodge in Green Park.


Apparently designed by Peter Turnerelli, and based on prints by Bartolozzi, the stags stand on tall plinths, which are attached to the garden walls of the adjoining buildings.

For more information, see http://www.victorianlondon.org/buildings/albertgate.htm

28 May 2011

Find Francis Derwent Woods' Atlanta

Standing on the Chelsea Embankment is a statue by Francis Derwent Wood, installed by friends of Wood including members of the Chelsea Arts Club in memory of the celebrated scuptor.


The statue is a cast of Wood's 1909 marble statue which can now which be found in the Manchester Art Gallery.

For more, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Derwent_Wood

11 May 2011

Meet Jacob the Dray Horse

A sculpture of Jacob the Dray Horse stands in The Circle, Queen Elizabeth Street, SE1, in memory of the hundreds of Dray Horses who were stabled there when the site was home to the Courage Brewery.


The horses were responsible for pulling cartloads of beer around London in order to quench the thirst of hungry workers, and even before that the area had been known as a place where horses would rest before entering the City. For this reason it was given the name Horselydown in the Sixteenth Century.

Today, Jacob is the only horse to remain and he isn't even real. He was commissioned by the Jacobs Island Company and Farlane Properties as part of the redevelopment of the area and was flown in by helicopter in 1987.

For more information, click here.

12 March 2011

Walk through Paternoster Square

In the shadow of St Paul's Cathedral, Paternoster Square is actually a very modern development, completed in 2003 on a site that had previously been home to a deeply unpopular 1960s construction designed by William Holford.


The new square houses office blocks, shops, cafes and bars using diverse materials including brick, Portland stone, York stone, granite, bronze, marble and slate. A little artistic flair is also added in the form of a 23m tall column, known as the Paternoster Square Column, topped off with a gold covered flaming urn, and also the sculpture pictured of a Shepherd and Sheep, designed by Dame Elisabeth Frink, originally added in 1975 to commemorate the sheep once driven through the area, one of the few parts to have survived from the earlier development.

For more background on Paternoster Square, see http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2003/nov/03/architecture.regeneration

7 March 2011

Find the LSE Penguin

The London School of Economics has been in the news for all the wrong reasons over the past couple of weeks, so it's important to remember that it really is just a university like any other, full of lefty students, silliness and bizarre obsessions.


The LSE penguin is a perfect example. The penguin statue, originally donated by Louis Odette, the philanthropist and former LSE student, with other animal statues, stands on the pavement in Portugal Street, in the heart of the School's campus just off the Aldwych, and the students have embraced it as their unofficial mascot for years now.

However, disaster struck when the statue was stolen in 2009, leading to gifts of flowers, poems, tins of sardines and Penguin biscuits at the site, presumably to encourage the Penguin to return, and an inevitable Facebook campaign to find the missing sculpture.

Eventually, the decision was taken to replace the penguin with a heavier, less steal-able model, which was installed in November 2009, and remains to this day. For more information, click here.

^Picture © RachScottHalls used under Creative Commons^

5 March 2011

See Jacob Epstein's sculptures on Zimbabwe House

Now the centre of running peaceful protests between Zimbabweans in Britain and the Mugabe Regime, Zimbabwe House, on the Strand, was not always connected to the African country. Previously it was the Headquarters of the British Medical Association, before it was acquired by the Government of what was then Rhodesia in 1935.


The building's facade has been a cause of controversy for over a hundred years, since the installation of eighteen large naked figures designed by Jacob Epstein in 1905. If you look high up on the walls of the building, you should be able to make out the remains of these statues of nude men and women, symbolising the ages of man.

They were deeply contentious at the time, thought to be too graphic, and when the Government of Rhodesia took over the building and a piece of masonry fell off one of the statues, they used the opportunity to destroy the statues by chiseling away extremities and leaving them literally defaced.

Like probably most readers, your author considers this to be a shame, but the Government of Rhodesia weren't exactly known for their enlightened attitudes. For more click here or to see some of the sculptures closer up, click here.

14 February 2011

Visit the Bali Bombing Memorial

One of London's lesser-known memorials is dedicated to the 202 victims - 28 of whom were British - of the Bali Bombings in 2002.


Unveiled by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall in October 2006, the memorial consists of a marble globe with 202 carved doves, and sits at the bottom of the steps between HM Treasury and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Westminster, watched over by a statue of Clive of India.

For more details, see http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6044472.stm

29 January 2011

Converse with Maggi Hambling's Oscar Wilde

Maggi Hambling's A Conversation with Oscar Wilde Statue was installed in 1998, in Adelaide Street, Charing Cross. She created it from green granite and bronze and shows Wilde rising from a sarcophagus, inviting passers-by to sit down and converse with him.


It wasn't until the late 1980s and early 1990s that people started to publicly question why London did not have a memorial to Wilde, and film-maker, author and painter Derek Jarman suggested a statue. When Jarman died in 1994, the Statue for Oscar Wilde committee was formed to ensure that his dream was realised.

Of twelve artists, Hambling's idea was chosen, showing Wilde rising from his tomb for a chat, smoking a cigarette. The base carries his famous quote from the play Lady Windermere's Fan, "We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars".

For more information click here.

11 December 2010

Meet friends at the Eros Statue

Popularly known as Eros, actually designed to be his brother Anteros, and also referred to as The Angel of Christian Charity, the statue at Piccadilly Circus is amongst the most popular meeting places in London at any time of the day.


Sitting atop the Victorian Shaftesbury Monument Memorial Fountain, which was designed by London-born Aesthetic sculptor Sir Alfred Gilbert, it is often described as being symbolic of London, the statue featured on the Evening Standard masthead until the recent redesign.

The whole sculpture was a memorial to Lord Shaftesbury's philanthropy and Anteros, as the God of Selfless Love, was thought to represent the philanthropic 7th Earl perfectly. For more information, click here.

^Picture © Chilli Head used under Creative Commons^

20 November 2010

See Wendy Taylor's Timepiece

It wasn't that sunny when your author last visited, but Wendy Taylor's Timepiece sundial, installed in 1973 beside the lock where St Katharine's Dock joins the Thames, is certainly striking.


The dial is apparently, a large equinoctial sundial around 3.66 metres across, and in the form of a stainless steel ring, which is supported by three rigid chain link cables.

For more on Wendy's work, see http://wendytaylorsculpture.co.uk/

31 October 2010

See the Tree of Life at the British Museum

Located in the subterranean Sainsbury Galleries, the British Museum's Africa section, the Tree of Life is a sculpture made in Mozambique from decommissioned weapons.


The creation of Mozambican artists Cristovao Canhavato (Kester), Hilario Nhatugueja, Fiel dos Santos and Adelino Serafim Maté, the sculpture was made as part of the Transforming Arms into Tools project, which aims to eliminate the threat presented by the hidden weapons.

It highlights the millions of weapons which arrived in Mozambique during the country's civil war, many of which remain hidden or buried in the bush. The project encourages Mozambicans to hand them over in exchange for more useful everyday items like ploughs, bicycles and sewing machines. We are told that, in one case, a whole village gave up its weapons in exchange for a tractor.

The Tree of Life is in Room 25, and is free to visit. For more, see here.

30 October 2010

Find David Wynne's 'Girl with a Dolphin'

Situated on the north bank of the Thames near Tower Bridge, 'Girl with a Dolphin' was created by artist David Wynne in 1973.


The statue sits on the waterfront outside the Tower hotel. There is a brother statue, called Boy with a Dolphin, at the Chelsea School of Art.

Like many of his sculptures, this one is, apparently, noted for its depiction of movement, giving the illusion of the figures flying unsupported.

For a little more, head over to Shady Old Lady here.

^Picture © Nathan O'Nions used under Creative Commons^

9 October 2010

See Copnall's Thomas Beckett sculpture

Thomas Becket was born in Cheapside in the 12th century, and rose to become Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 until he was brutally murdered in 1170 by three knights, following a dispute with the nobility and elements of the Norman royal family. Becket was subsequently canonised by Pope Alexander and is venerated as a saint and martyr in the Catholic and Anglican Churches.


A sculpture in the gardens beside St Paul's cathedral captures and freezes the final moments of Thomas Becket, as he was murdered at Canterbury in 1170. The sculpture was created by Edward Bainbridge Copnall, and acquired by the Corporation of London in 1973.

For more on Becket see here and for more on Copnall see here.

2 October 2010

See Rodin's The Burghers of Calais

One of six casts of the original monument to the Burghers of Calais in Calais itself, the statue standing in Victoria Tower Gardens, under the shadow of the Victoria Tower of the Houses of Parliament, was cast 1908.


It tells the story of a year-long siege of Calais in 1347, during the Hundred Years' War. When the city was no longer able to hold out against the English, they were parley for surrender, and Edward offered to spare the people of the city if six of its top leaders, the Burghers, would surrender themselves to him.

Six of the burghers stepped forward, including Eustace de St. Pierre, John Daire, James Wisant and Peter Wisant, and two others, in the manner that Edward had demanded, almost naked, wearing nooses around their necks, and carrying the keys to the city and castle.

It was only thanks to the pleas of Edward's pregnant Queen, Philippa, that their lives were spared and she removed their nooses, gave them fresh clothes and dinner, and handed them money before having them escorted out of the camp.

Rodin's 1889 sculpture remembers this, and under French law, twelve casts of the piece were permitted after Rodin’s death. The one which stands today in Victoria Gardens is one of them.

For more, see here or for the full story of the siege see here

3 September 2010

See Gormley's Quantum Cloud

Anthony Gormley's Quantum Cloud is a sculpture which stands beside the Millennium Dome, overlooking the pier used by the Thames Clipper boat services.


At first sight, it looks like just a mass of steel bits, but if you look a little closer, and move around the sculpture, you can soon make out a large figure, supposedly based on Gormley's own body, at the centre.

The structure itself contains 3,800 galvanised steel sections, and measures 29m high, 16m wide and 10m deep, so is visible from quite a distance. It was commissioned as part of the Millenium celebrations, to sit alongside the Dome and was, your author understands, completed on time.

For more, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_cloud

^Picture by Matt From London^