I support this proposal (as below) to commemorate Mary Prince which feels like a good and constructive idea to make use of the existing plinth outside the Docklands Museum. But the question will soon arise as to who should undertake the commission ? And the truth is that there are very few people who have the skill and interest to make good and convincing modern commemorative monuments, as I learned when I was involved in the group to commission a monument to Lloyd George in Parliament Square where there were so few sculptors even willing to enter a proposal. Until the recent upsurge of public interest in civic monuments, it was treated as a dead genre and no-one has been taught or trained to undertake them for at least three generations (ie since the second world war). Or am I wrong ?
6 thoughts on “New Statues”
How about Maggi Hambling?
I second that.
I disagree, there are some excellent and competent portrait sculptors around.
https://www.portrait-sculpture.org/. What about Sean Henry? I know portrait sculpture is not fashionable but it is still practised.
Yes there are plenty of good enough sculptors around and the complex academic training in sculpture necessary to produce these public monuments is still alive and flourishing for those in the know. The most common problem is forming a commissioning body up to the job and designing an appropriate competition/commissioning process. Plenty of sculptors won’t join competitions now because they cannot finance doing chronically unpaid work at the initial competition phase and then nobody makes any decent money from doing a one-off public sculpture because the profit in the art industry, just like any other, is in replication.
The PMSA (Public Monuments and Sculpture Association) is the UK body best equipped to aid commissioning bodies (https://www.pmsa.org.uk) and as mentioned above by AFGrender, the Society of Portrait Sculptors includes a number of skilled practitioners of public sculpture.
Thank you. Very helpful. Charles