ISBN 10: 1846317126 / ISBN 13: 9781846317125
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Rezension: Public Sculpture No. 1 stands by the entrance of Prospect House, the home of Archant the publishers of the Eastern Daily Press and its sister newspapers. Its gilded bales being crushed between concrete slabs can be seen as a comment on the pressures of life in today's world. Bernard Meadows, who was a pupil at the City of Norwich School and went on to be recognised as one of the twentieth century's moist gifted sculptors, created this powerful work of art. Af first it provoked familiar; people hardly give it a second glance. So this new, wide-ranging account of sculpture in Norfolk and Suffolk is welcome. It is a reminder of the treasures literally and figuratively on our doorstep. Go down from Rouen Road to the Haymarket. There sits Henry Pegram's Sir Thomas Browne, contemplating the human condition in a conventional style that contrasts with the modern work of Anne and Patrick Poirier all around. Then look back for something else that is quite different from either; above the windows of the cafe at No 11 Haymarket. The terracotta panels depict palm trees, pyramids, strange monsters and drooping capitals. Perhaps they are all advertisements for the produce on sale at the grocers that opened there in 1902. On the other hand, they may have reflected pride in recent British victories on the Nile. In any case, they add interest to the busy street. Public Sculpture of Norfolk and Suffolk naturally ranges far beyond Norwich, Ipswich, thanks in large measure to the efforts of the tireless John Blatchly has just added David Annand's Cardinal Wolsey to a fine repertory of statues from Turnerelli's Wellington to Hedges-Quinn's Bobby Robson and Ravera's Trawlerman. Bury St Edmunds has the distinction of owning a characteristic standing figure by Elizabeth Frink, while Aldeburgh commemorates Britten with Maggi Hambling's steel Scallop on the shingle ridge by the sea. The Nelson Monument at Great Yarmouth, like the Leicester Monument, is well-known but both profit from close examination. But the fine memorial to Princess Caroline Murat at Ringsfield has not had the attention it deserves, while an important piece of French nineteenth-century art, Clesinger's Fighting Bulls, stands neglected at Lynford. Surveying and cataloguing hundreds of works of very size in all styles over centuries, Richard Cocke reveals the riches of sculpture in our region. His research has been exemplary, and he has been rewarded with exciting discoveries. Since retiring from the University of East Anglia as an authority on the Italian renaissance, he has found a new interest and generously shares it with us. In preparing this book that is an important part of a series published by Liverpool University Press, he has been assisted all the way by his wife. Sarah Cocke took a degree in photography at the University of Montreal. The quality of the pictures she has taken is clear on every page. The civic lion on the north side of the steps up to Norwich City Hall, for instance has never looked finer. EDP weekend review This is the sixteenth volume in the series Public Sculpture in Britain and follows the established format. Only when justified by particular quality have headstones and sculptural village signs been included; similarly an appendix lists only a sample of outstanding church monuments. Non-conformism and resistance to glorification of the individual characterised much of the attitude to public sculpture in the region, so that even the impressively tall Nelson's column in Yarmouth is surmounted by the figure of Britannia rather than the admiral himself. Charles Wheeler's statue of Thomas Paine (1964) in Thetford reflects more an association with the United States Air Force (stationed in Norfolk in the Second World War) than with English radicalism. One notable discovery arising from this survey was Clesinger's Fighting bulls (in a 'disgraceful' condition according to Richard Cocke in his article published in this Magazine, 153 (2011), pp.470-74). A curious continuity of this tradition of animal subjects emerges in a number of life-size monuments to celebrated racehorses - two by John Skeaping - at Newmarket. The predominance of the recorded sculpture dates from 1990 to the present day and illustrates many of the tendencies - good and questionable - of recent public commissioning. One exceptional example of the continuity of private commissioning, however, is the impressive array of work by artists of international rank in the grounds of Houghton Hall. Often a notably anti-heroic spirit emerges with subjects derived from popular culture, such as the cartoon character Giles's 'Grandma' (Miles Robinson) in Ipswich or the bronze Captain Main - waring (Sean Hedges-Quinn) casually sharing with passers by a park bench at Thetford. Richard Cocke's scrupulously researched - not to say at times entertaining - contextual commentaries and the quality of the photography ably support the value of the book as a long-lasting source of reference. -- Robert Radford The Burlington Magazine Richard Cocke's scrupulously researched - not to say at times entertaining - contextual commentaries and the quality of the photography ably support the value of the book as a long-lasting source of reference. The Burlington Magazine From conception to publication a decade later, here is the 16th volume in the PMSA's Public Sculpture of Britain series (eleven more to come) and inevitably it is to be compared with others in the series. I would judge this a favourable comparison because Richard Cocke and his wife, Sarah, have made a fine work of the project. It has the best cover in the series so far, featuring Sarah Cocke's photograph of one of Alfred Hardiman's bronze Heraldic Lions from the 1930s set against the flinty Gothic exterior of Norwich's early 15th century Guildhall (fig.1). Unlike English Heritage, who add on a further five counties, the PMSA's region is proper East Anglia, with just the two counties. Back in 2001, when the idea of this volume was first raised, there were voices from Cambridge asking why the Eastern region's sculpture should be reviewed from Norwich. The late Jo Darke, the PMSA's much-loved co-founder, knew that Norfolk and Suffolk's public sculpture was sufficient to stand alone, having researched and written The Monument Guide to England and Wales. She commissioned the volume after meeting Richard Cocke in 2002. Based at the University of East Anglia and on the point of retiring from a career in Art History, Richard Cocke was senior lecturer and Dean of the School of World Art Studies. His book begins with an introduction, a resume of the inventory, which contains a useful graphic showing that there were more new arrivals in 2000-2009 than in the entire previous century. The total eventually grew to about 870 entries or sculptural items. The material at hand - the sculptures of Norfolk and Suffolk - were not a disappointment. Some very old items are listed, from North Norfolk's 10,000 year-old Seahenge discovered in 1998 to the 13th century carved-oak beams in Halesworth and the 17th century pargetted reliefs at Sparrows House, Ipswich. Other regional specialties include seaside architectural details at Yarmouth, Cromer and Southwold, and the bronze equines at Newmarket by John Skeaping, Philip Blacker and James Osborne, all raised in the last half-century. One quibble is that the dramatic 15' tall rearing stallion and its handler in bronze by Marcia Astor and Alan Sly, which really is in public view on a roundabout by Newmarket's race course, received no more than a brief mention on page 236, because it was just inside Cambridgeshire. There are also inclusions which might not have been previously classified as public sculpture, for instance John Flaxman's Fury of Athamas at Ickworth House, now owned by the National Trust. Photographs in the Norfolk and Suffolk volume are of a higher than usual standard. Having seen some of Sarah Cocke's photographs in colour, there was some question as to how well they would be reproduced. The fact is that photos which are effective in colour do not necessarily reproduce well in monotone. The print and paper quality in the PMSA book series has risen consistently, but what would help is closer contact with the publishers, whereby a page designer can warn in advance when pictures converted to monotone appear murky. Further than this, photographic submissions should be flagged in terms of importance of the sculpture they illustrate. For example, the photograph of Charity, the statue outside the old Fishermen's Hospital in Yarmouth, deserved more prominence. It is possible to view the Sarah Cocke's colour originals on the dedicated website (see link below). So much of sculpture history is about stories and, fortunately, Richard Cocke knows how to tell them. I particularly like the occasions where he supplies extra contextual history - for instance for the pyramid at Blickling, or the identity of Violet Vaughan Morgan, whose statue in Norwich cathedral was by Frances Derwent Wood. The author demonstrates tact when dealing with Maggi Hambling's Scallop memorial to Benjamin Britten at Aldeburgh, contested because it stands on the shoreline, regarded by many as 'sacred space' for nature. While researching, the author made discoveries. No previous survey had included the life-size marble Fighting Bulls by Auguste Clesinger, seen outside Lynford Hall. Inside Ipswich Town Hall, he found the elegant lamp-holding figurines featuring the Four Continents, cast in iron by Coalbrookdale and modelled by John Bell in the 1860s. As Bell's biographer, even I didn't know about these. Another surprise was hearing about a pair of the original Coade Victory figures from the Norfolk Pillar, located in a private garden. The book ends with supplementary lists which are a real boon and for which I salute the author. Firstly, in common with the Bristol and Worcester volumes, he has listed one or two memorials in churches, (though PMSA persons know that church items are not within the series' 'public' remit). Secondly, he has included a small section titled, 'Lost'. This is fascinating, as it includes the theft of Snape's Henry Moore sculpture, removed from the HMF's Hertford...

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