The Square From Hell

Warning to all sculptors, avoid taking on any commissions from Bristol’s Millennium Square. They don’t seem to like public art there. A life-size bronze sculpture of martyr William Tyndale is the latest victim of vandals. Poor old Tyndale, who’s claim to fame was to be the first person to translate the Bible into English, has been finally removed for repairs. A spokeswoman for @Bristol said “Due to acts of vandalism in Millennium Square the statue of William Tyndale has had to be removed because it was in a dangerous state.’ All that remain are a pair of bronze boots (obviously they aren’t considered vandal fodder!). Jasmine, the poor bronze Jack Russell (by Cathie Pilkington), was a victim too. She was ripped from her bolts only to be found, reinstalled then vandalized again (ala Larry LaTrobe). And lets not forget stag beetle, poor bronze creature (by Nicola Hicks) had it’s antennae broken off. Now Nicola has to make replacement “screw in ones” which will be used on “special” occasions. How sad!

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Emerging in Atlanta

Emerging Sculpture

Next time you sight a neglected piece of public art spare a thought for the artist (it is their reputation on display too). Once a piece has been completed, the sculptor can only hope that his or her work of art will be cared for and nurtured by the forces that be. Unfortunately that is not always the case. Take the Emerging sculpture in Atlanta, Georgia, for example. Sculptor and artist Mark Smith is passionate about his work and is more than a little annoyed that his sculpture has been neglected to the point that it has lost its original meaning. Mark has gone to extraordinary lengths to get help in restoring the Emerging (which by the way is one of my favorite sculptures in Atlanta) only to be told it really isn’t their responsibility. Disillusioned by the whole thing he is now trying to raise money to restore it himself, shame. The park adjacent to his sculpture has been given a full makeover but it seems there just isn’t enough money in the coffers for a little TLC on his sculpture. I visited Atlanta in 2007 and grabbed some snaps of it for my website, unaware that it was in such a terrible state. Despite this I thought it was the most exciting and thought provoking of the public art I saw. I guess Mark was horrified when he discovered I had included the neglected piece on my website (Public Art Around The World) and contacted me. After watching a presentation of the before and after of Emerging it is no wonder Mark is fighting to have the sculpture restored. Placed in a prominent and busy intersection the people and motorists of Atlanta deserve more and should be treated to the real Emerging with all its reflective power. Check out Mark Smiths website and watch his presentation.