Tom and I went out on 8 June 2017 – the day of the UK General Election – in order to do our fifth day of shooting sculptures.

Perhaps appropriately, we started at Highgate Cemetery, where we took a portrait of Karl Marx, which also made an appearance in our film, The New Hope.

We then headed over to Golders Hill Park to see Patricia Finch’s Golders Hill Girl, and on to the Swiss Cottage area to see Sigmund Freud.

After finding a sculpture the name of which we do not know by Swiss Cottage Library, we took a quick bus over to Camden Stables, where we found the Amy Winehouse statue, before walking to the Regent’s Park, where we took shots of the Matilda fountain and two works by Albert Hodge, The Lost Bow and A Mighty Hunter, which both feature cherubs attacking birds.


We also found an eagle near the Island Rock Garden, although alas could not afford the entry fee to shoot Henri Teixeira de Mattos’ Stealing the Cubs.

Over to Rossmore Street we wandered to see Charles Hadcock’s Echo, before then finding Barbara Hepworth’s Heron on the side of Heron House on George Street and some of the more traditional statues on Portland Place.


Naomi Blake’s View – which lives in Fitzroy Square Garden – was perhaps my favourite sculpture of the day: a beautiful piece in and of itself, it is not dissimilar to Hepworth’s Single Form in Battersea Park, which we shot on day three. Nonetheless, View seems to invite both touch through its smoothness as well as interaction as one not only looks at it, but also through it and to what lies beyond.


Naomi Blake’s View

Inside St Pancras, we then filmed Martin Benning’s statue of Sir John Betjeman (who features in St Mary Magdalen’s Home Movies) and Paul Day’s The Meeting Place, well known to Eurostar travellers as the two lovers who greet people as they arrive in London.


Over the British Library, where we took in Eduardo Paolozzi’s Newton, before we then stumbled across some massive sculptures – from what we could tell unnamed – in front of the St Pancras Parish Church. These figures with melded and buried heads really were surprising: monsters merging with each other and with Earth, like fallen gods wandering lost in the land of the humans.


We then wandered down to Tavistock Square and Gordon Square, where respectively we filmed statues of Mohandas K Gandhi and Virginia Woolf, and Rabindranath Tagore and Noor Inayat Khan.


By the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), we filmed the Armillary Sphere sundial in Torrington Square and the Tamil poet, Thiruvalluvar. Supposedly restored in 2016, this latter statue nonetheless already seemed somewhat worn as his forehead and cheeks have suffered chips and cracks.


Nonetheless, I was touched by the quotation from Thiruvalluvar that features on a plaque at the foot of the statue:

You meet with joy, with pleasant thought you part;
Such is the learned scholar’s wondrous art

I cannot lay claim to realising the learn√®d scholar’s wondrous art – but I endeavour to meet with joy as and when I can.

There followed a shot of Francis Russell, 2nd Earl of Bedford in Russell Square – a huge monument on a large raised plinth, with Russell looming over various sculpted animals, while metal railings preventing interaction all interaction with Russell except on the part of the birds that sit and defecate upon him.


Francis Russell with pigeon on head

The day ended with another Patricia Finch sculpture in Queen Square, this one being her Memorial to Andrew Meller, who worked with the Great Ormond Street Hospital – before we got in a quick shot of Sam the Cat, who also lives in the corner of that square.


Hopefully only two more days to go and then we can move on to the editing stage of the film – with actress Lissa Schwerm hopefully to deliver the film’s vocal track in the next week or so, too.

Beg Steal Borrow News, Sculptures of London, St Mary Magdalen's Home Movies, Uncategorized

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.


Tom Maine shoots Dickie and Sam.

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.


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 Hammarskj√∂ld.

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.


Catherine Booth stands before the Salvation Army headquarters in Denmark Hill

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.


Jon Bickley’s pigs and goats

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!




Beg Steal Borrow News, New projects, Sculptures of London, Uncategorized