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Posts Tagged ‘public art’

There’s a polar bear in Sloane Square. No-one told me about it! I just stepped off the bus, and there it was, in the snow, opposite Peter Jones. It’s magnificent.

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I was enjoying the ‘thisness’ of the bear, the pure ‘being-there’ and ‘being-a-bear-there’ of the sculpture, the art that shows without the need to tell; but then I found it also has a purpose. Camilla Horrox explains:

A SPECTACULAR 12ft polar bear sculpture called Boris has been unveiled in London’s Sloane Square to symbolise the plight of the critically endangered animal.

Boris Johnson’s father Stanley unveiled the statue on Monday in one of the capital’s most iconic locations, Sloane Square where the ‘new’ Boris in town will reign until February 10.

Throughout the 28-day period the public, celebrities, organisations and corporations will be encouraged to register their support for the campaign online and visit Boris in person if they are able to.

Adam Binder said: “If people stop for just a moment to contemplate Boris and the plight of the polar bear, it will have served a purpose. Art should make you think. Wildlife art, particularly a piece on this scale, will hopefully be poignant and remind us that we’re all part of nature and have a responsibility to every creature on our planet. The endangered polar bear symbolises this better than anything else and Boris carries an important message for us all.”

Adam Binder, Jim McNeill (founder of the Ice Warrior Project) and environmentalist Stanley Johnson (father of the other Boris) unveiled the sculpture on Monday.

Throughout the 28-day period the public, celebrities, organisations and corporations will be encouraged to register their support for the campaign online and visit Boris in person if they are able to.

Boris, who is cast entirely of bronze and weighs 700 kgs is the brainchild of the award-winning artist Adam Binder, whose work in ceramics and sculpture has won him critical acclaim throughout a career spanning 20 years. Adam won the David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year in 2010, and was elected a Member of the Society of Wildlife Artists in 2011.

Conservationist, David Shepherd CBE FRSA said: “It is fitting that Adam Binder’s first monumental sculpture should be this beautiful polar bear, a species that is, quite literally, on thin ice. If Boris’ lonely vigil in a London square makes people stop and think, even for a minute, Adam will have achieved his aim.”

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Following on from the Elephant Parade two years ago, when over 250 brightly painted life-size elephants were displayed throughout London, multicoloured eggs have been appearing around the city as part of the Faberge Big Egg Hunt. Despite the apparent ‘commercialisation’ (I mean sponsorship), I was excited about the idea and longing to get my first sighting.

The problem is that the eggs simply aren’t big enough. They are not so much ‘public works of art’ (as the elephants were), but ‘works of art that happen to be displayed in public’. Maybe the criticism is unfair, and it reflects my own unrealistic expectations. But I went in expecting something as stunning and provocative and bold as the elephants.

They are about two and a half feet tall, mainly on a podium or even in a display case. Some of them lovely objects, but none quite huge enough for the full, glorious impactful ridiculousness of having gigantic coloured eggs scattered around London. How tall would they need to be, in my humble opinion?At least four feet, maybe five. Six would be getting a bit scary…

So yes, it’s a fun venture, a nice addition to London life, a pleasant distraction, and I’m sure it’s all for good cause. But it could have been so much more!

What do you think? Am I being churlish?

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