I have been asked by Martin Jennings, himself a sculptor, for my response to Emma Lavender’s long and thoughtful critique of what I had thought of the statue of Millicent Fawcett in Parliament Square. Two things had impressed me about the statue: the first was how much the mood of the square was changed by the presence of a single woman; the second was an element of surprise that a statue produced, as I guessed, by the latest 3D reproductive technologies based on original photographs was so convincing. I still feel, even now that I have read more about how it was produced, that it is better and much more convincing than some of the weaker recent public statues, because the traditions of carving and modelling are no longer much taught.
I am happy to receive more information on where they are still taught and the best examples of contemporary figurative sculpture, as the issue as to how new figurative sculpture is commissioned and who is commissioned will become issues of public concern, if they are not already.
Meanwhile, I am reproducing my photograph of the statue again only so that readers don’t have to scroll back:-