Another session shooting Sculptures of London took place on Tuesday 30 May, as Tom Maine and William Brown ventured around southern London filming various different works.
The day started at the Wetlands Centre in Barnes, where we saw some wildlife sculptures, including Nicola Godden’s portrayal of Sir Peter Scott and what appear to be some geese.
We then headed up to St Mary’s Hospital in Roehampton, where we squeezed in a shot of Dickie and Sam, Brian Alabaster’s portrait of his father reading a book to his son, who has Down Syndrome.
A brief trip from there to Putney allowed us to follow the Putney Sculpture Trail, which features 9 works by Alan Thornhill.
Thornhill’s works are marked by a wonderful contusion and confusion of bodies, many of which seem to be carrying weights or unidentified infants, and which have the most expressive if bizarrely deformed bodies.
In some senses, Thornhill’s work is unique in London in that he defines the public art landscape of the Putney area, invoking notions of how humans are not separate from each other, but interlinked and intertwined.
It seems fitting, then, that his works are alongside the Thames, the central artery that links London and Londoners alike.
It is further along the Thames at Battersea that we next visited, filming various works in and around Battersea Park. These included John Ravera’s In Town and Catherine Marr-Johnson’s Two Swans on the south side of the river.
Meanwhile, on the north side, we captured images of a naked women in Gilbert Ledward’s Awakening, a clothed man in Leslie Cubitt Bevis’ Sir Thomas More, and a naked woman in Francis Derwent Wood’s Atalanta.
We saw the painter Kenneth Howard at work alongside Atalanta, opposite from the remarkable Boy with a Dolphin by David Wynne.
We then walked into Battersea Park, where of all of the works on offer we opted to shoot Henry Moore’s Three Standing Figures and Barbara Hepworth’s Single Form, the latter of which is an imposing eye (reminiscent of the Open University logo) that really conveys a sense of solidity and gravity – as is fitting for its purpose as a memorial to UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld.
From Battersea, Tom and I trekked on to Clapham, Stockwell and Brixton, taking in various works, including Aleix Barbat’s Bronze Woman and the various figures that inhabit the platforms of Brixton’s train station.
By Barbat’s Bronze Woman in Stockwell, we had a brief discussion with a passer-by about sculptures in London: he was very much intrigued by the provenance of this piece, which was made to commemorate the lives of Caribbean women.
A brief stop at Denmark Hill to see Catherine Booth at the headquarters of the Salvation Army was then followed by a look at some of the more monumental works around the O2 Arena in North Greenwich.
This included capturing shots of Antony Gormley’s Quantum Cloud, Gary Hume’s Liberty Grip and Alex Chinneck’s Bullet from a Shooting Star.
The day then ended with a trip to the Surrey Quays Farm where we managed – through a closed gate – to get images of our final sculpture of the day, a series of pigs, ducks and a donkey by Jon Bickley.
A long and productive day that sees the Beg Steal Borrow team get close to finishing their tour of London’s outlying boroughs, before turning their attention to the public art to be found in the centre of town.
Keep an eye out for further updates!
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