Outdoor sculpture

Prior to my return to the UK after 18 years in France, one in the USA and six months in Canada, we visited London in March 1995, to get a feel for it.

Playing tourists – legitimately – we stumbled upon a small square in Bermondsey with a fountain adorned with lithe bronze sculpted women. One in particular sitting with her right leg bent, hands clasped at the knee, drew me in.

I snapped a photo of her in black and white on my Olympus XA (which I still have – I wonder if it works?), and it’s been in a frame ever since.


A lover of sculpture, figurative and abstract, I always have an eye open for outdoor works that often surprise, and uplift seemingly out of the blue.


Black and white photo, March 1995

“Waterfall” by Antony Donaldson – English artist born in 1939, with an extraordinary body of work – was commissioned in 1988, and unveiled in 1994, according to the plaque on site. So when we came across it, it was barely a year old. The women were smooth, shiny, freshly settled in their new home, Brewery Square.


Black and white photo, March 1995

22 years later – I discovered a couple of weeks ago – the seated woman is unchanged in her poise. The effects of London’s weather though, have eroded her smooth, shiny surface. The blue-green tinge of tarnished bronze has taken hold on parts of her anatomy, showing her age, and her resistance.

2016-07-23 18.55.52 (1)

Colour photo, July 2016

Nonetheless she appears as strong, patient and pensive as ever, despite the years, and undoubtedly the hundreds of thousands of people who’ve seen her since 1994.

Outdoor sculpture has a lot to live up to, as the statement it makes, is often unsought by the public. So when passers by pass by, they may ignore or miss it, oblivious of its import, since it is not on their radar. Or they may throw a questioning glance in its direction, wondering what on Earth it’s doing there.

For the lovers of sculpture, and the curious minded, outdoor sculpture is a marvel to contemplate. For the permanent commissions, it is a bejewelled part of the fabric of London.

Free art for every eye interested.



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 © Amanda Yensa Manor 2016


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