The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Meat porter does sheepshearing too


I recommend  you make the effort to catch the last few days of the current exhibition at Pangolin Gallery in Kings Cross of sculptor Ralph Brown—much of it visible from the street, if you are passing, and with extra works in the foyers of Kings Place next door (staying until August 2014).   Ralph Brown is best known for his Meat Porters sculpture in Harlow Town Square, commissioned by the Harlow Arts Trust.   Although the work itself is over 7ft tall the figures are still less than life size, two porters heaving a carcass.   There is a version of this work at Pangolin—apparently a slightly later version than the Harlow one.  As I understand the process,  Brown took a cast of the Harlow bronze, made a new positive in concrete and then worked on it further.   I am not sure how different it’s become, but it is great to be able to see it up close, on a low plinth, and the form really makes you follow the action around the piece.

Sadly there is no version of the much smaller sheepshearers which was also bought for Harlow, and was a student work.   Its only  two feet high on brick plinth—Flickr suggests its still in place outside the tenants common room on a Harlow housing estate.  I hope it’s safe there,  given recent thefts of bronze sculpture from public sites.

My daughter was mesmerised by the silver head “Dream of Water”, which spins on its base.  I’ve been trying to work out which version of “Swimmers” is at Newnham College Cambridge, and where it is (I was a student there, but can’t remember it).  I’m also wondering what happened to the piece which was in the Ladyshott Common Room at the  Commonwealth Institute, London–I’m assuming that didn’t survive the conversion, in fact I think the Common Room was in the wing which was demolished.







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