Sunday, April 28, 2024

Gilt of Cain


This is another public art sculpture located in the City of London on Fenchurch Street.  The artists are Michael Vsocchi and Lemn Sissay.  

It consists of 17 carved granite columns around a granite podium inscribed with words from the poem "Gilt of Cain" by Lemn Sissay.  

The sculpture stands on a spot that was once the churchyard for St. Mary Woolnoth Church and is where William Wilberforce, the abolitionist listened to the sermons of the Rev. John Newton.  Newton was a slave trader turned anti-slavery preacher.  He and Wilberforce worked together to end slavery in the United Kingdom.  

You can find more about the sculpture here.

Sunday, April 21, 2024

The Fourth Plinth


The Fourth Plinth refers to one of plinths (or platforms) at Trafalgar Square in London.  The plinths are positioned on all four corners of the square and three of them have contained statues for many years.  The plinth in the northwest corner has remained empty for over 150 years.  

Around 1998, The Fourth Plinth Project was conceived.  Artists were commissioned to create artworks to be placed on the plinth for a period of time.  

When I was in London last fall, this is the sculpture that was holding this prized spot.

This work was created by Samson Kambalu and it is called "Antelope."  The sculpture is based on a photograph taken in 1914.  Information about it is below.

In 2013, this was the sculpture sitting on the plinth when I visited London.  "Hahn/Cock" was created by artist Katharina Fritsch.  

When I visited London in 2016, this was the sculpture atop the plinth.  This sculpture is by David Shrigley and it's called "Really Good".  

You can find more information about The Fourth Plinth artistic project here.  There is a list of all the artworks that have adorned this spot.  

Sunday, April 14, 2024

City Full of Art


London is a city that is full of public art and it's not all warriors on horseback.  In some places you will find art that is totally unexpected.  Here is a fine example. This is a Wind Sculpture by British/Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare.  His art works are  influenced by cultural identities, colonialism and globalization.  

He has many of these wind sculptures in different sizes, colors and patterns.  I read that there is one in front of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington D.C.  

Here is another sculpture I came across on my wanderings around the city.  This one is a memorial bust of the organist/composer Henry Purcell (1659-1695).  His face is intertwined with flowers and blooms symbolizing " The Flowering of the English Baroque".

This sculpture was created by Glynn Williams and was unveiled on this spot by Princess Margaret in November of 1995.

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Industrial Sculpture


When I was making my way to the Tate Britain Museum, I exited the Pimlico Tube station and noticed a rather strange looking structure across the street.  It looked like something out of "Dr. Who".  It appeared to have some kind of purpose but what could it be.  In the end, I couldn't figure it out so I photographed it so I could do some research at a later date.

My investigations discovered that it is a sculpture by the Scottish artist, Eduardo Paolozzi. But, it also has a real purpose.  In the 1980's, the artist was asked to create ventilation shaft cover for an underground car park at this location.  This is that cover.  I love it, something utilitarian as well as artistic.  I always like a piece of art that makes me want to learn more.

Eduardo Paolozzi is the same artist who created this large sculpture that has place of pride in front of the British Library.  This piece is called Newton After Blake. This sculpture is based on a 1795 print called Newton: Personification of Man Limited by Reason.  Paolozzi was commissioned to create a sculpture for the new library and his "Newton"  was installed in 1995.

Paolozzi was fascinated by the relationship between man and machine and turning junk into new forms.  Much of his work has mechanical look to it.