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Public Art

By 4th October 2021Articles, Lifestyle, News

Sonic Bloom, by Yuri Suzuki, 2021 ©Alberto Balazs

On bridges and beaches; in parks and in squares, standing high on rooftops, and only sometime visible above the waves, public art is everywhere if you only know where to look. Seek it out. It’s a gift to the nation and is yours to enjoy.

Two Piece Reclining Figure No 5, by Henry Moore, 1964

Kenwood House, Hampstead, London

Henry Moore was one of the defining artists of the 20th century, and these resplendent, abstract forms – like so many of his other bronzes – exert a remarkable life force. Created in the round, they present an infinite number of views, so do as Moore advises and walk around the sculpture to experience how “one form gets in front of the other, in ways that cannot be anticipated”. The result, he says is “many unexpected, unforeseen views and never-ending interest and surprise…” He’s absolutely right.

Stay nearby at The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences, The Capital or The Goring, London

© The Executors of the Frink Estate and Archive. All Rights reserved, DACS 2021.

Photo credit: Reg Pengelly / Art UK

The Dorset Martyrs Memorial, by Elizabeth Frink, 1986

Dorchester, Dorset

Dame Elizabeth Frink, one of England’s most important sculptors, was commissioned to create this immensely powerful work in memory of all the people – mainly Catholics – who were persecuted and then executed for their religious beliefs during the 16th and 17th centuries. Standing on the site of the gallows, the Grade II-listed bronze shows three figures – two men and one woman – and is inscribed with the words “For Christ and conscience sake.”

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The Angel of the North, by Antony Gormley, 1998

Low Eighton, Gateshead

There are fine examples of Gormley’s work throughout the UK, including the highly evocative Another Place on Crosby Beach, and Margate’s Another Time, but The Angel of the North most likely remains the best known, not least because it is the largest sculpture in Britain, and reputedly the biggest angel statue in the world. Measuring 20m-high, and weighing 200-tonne it stands on a hill above the AI in Gateshead, its 54m-wide wings outflung as if to wrap the city and its people in an eternal embrace.

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Scallop: A Conversation with the Sea, by Maggi Hambling, 2003

Aldeburgh, Suffolk

Rising out of the shingle at Aldeburgh is an enormous steel shell by Maggi Hambling. It is, says the artist, a “conversation with the sea – a place where someone feeling lonely, miserable, happy, sad, can come and contemplate the horizon and the mysterious power of the sea”. One half of the shell lies prone – in anticipation of those wishing to seek refuge there – while the other, which bears the words “I hear those voices that will not be drowned,” from Hambling’s favourite Benjamin Britten opera, Peter Grimes – stands erect, perhaps in a state of constant reflection.

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The Coldstones Cut © Paul Harris Photography

The Coldstones Cut, by Andrew Sabin, 2010

Nidderdale, Yorkshire

Andrew Sabin’s visionary The Coldstones Cut was a just winner of the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association (PMSA) Marsh Award for the best public sculpture of 2011. Built of limestone, the work is both a contemporary streetscape with winding paths, platforms and viewing points, and a reflective reminder of Yorkshire’s quarrying history. Situated 420m above sea-level, this remarkable artwork with its tunnels, spiralling corridors and open air vantage points, which look over Nidderdale – an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – and major landscapes such as York Minster and the White Horse at Sutton Bank, informs and inspires and in equal measure.

Stay nearby at Grantley Hall, North Yorkshire

Sonic Bloom, by Yuri Suzuki, 2021 ©Alberto Balazs

Sonic Bloom, by Yuri Suzuki, 2021

Brown Hart Gardens, London

“I wanted to produce a piece of work that encouraged people to communicate,” says sound artist Yuri Suzuki. “I wanted it both to be a talking point and also a talking device, and above all else, I wanted it to be fully accessible in every sense. People are sometimes intimidated by art, but Sonic Bloom is all about engaging the senses. Passers-by can sit on it, talk into it, listen to the sounds it picks up. It is about interacting with others, with art and with the environment.”
Commissioned by Grosvenor Group, and curated by Alter-Projects, Sonic Bloom will remain in London for a year before moving to other cities.

Stay nearby at The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences, The Capital or The Goring, London


Article written by Xenia Taliotis

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