Friday, 30 May 2014

Friday My Town Shoot-out - Sculptures

The theme for FMTSO this week is Sculptures.  For once I don’t have to leave my home city of Liverpool in the UK.  There are plenty of sculptures there.

On top of the Liver Building on the waterfront stand two Liver Birds, symbols of the city for centuries. 

They look like a cross between a cormorant and an eagle.

And they feature on the Liverpool coat of arms.

A modern symbol of the city is the Superlambanana.   Superlambanana is a bright yellow sculpture weighing almost eight tons and standing 17 feet tall.  It is intended to be a cross between a banana and a lamb and was designed by Manhattan-based Japanese artist Taro Chiezo.   In 2008, as part of Liverpool's year-long position as European Capital of Culture, 125 individually designed miniature replicas were created and each individually painted and decorated.  

There are also a fair number of penguins to be found around Liverpool.  'Go Penguins' was a public art event held in Liverpool, Wirral, and St Helens, on Merseyside, in 2009 / 2010. It consisted of over 200 penguin sculptures which were painted and decorated by artists, schools and community groups.

One of my favourite Liverpool; sculptures is that of Lord Nelson.

Some idea of the scale of this monument can be appreciated from this 1887 photo.

This grand creation is the Victoria Monument. 

This large neo-Baroque or Beaux-Arts monument was built over the former site of Liverpool Castle.  A large ensemble featuring 26 bronze figures by C. J. Allen it was unveiled in 1906.   A less dramatic statue of Victoria is in front of St George’s Hall. It was created by Thorneycroft in 1869. 

In the background of this picture that I took in the 1960s is Wellington's Column, or the Waterloo Memorial, a monument to the Duke of Wellington standing on the corner of William Brown Street and Lime Street.  Completed in 1865 it has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade II listed building.  Also on this same plateau are four huge lion sculptures by Cockerell reminiscent of the lion sculptures by Sir Edwin Landseer at the base of Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square.

One of many dozens of traditional statues around Liverpool is this one of Queen Mary, wife of George V, at the entrance to the first Mersey Tunnel which was named Queensway in her honour.

At the base of Wellington’s Column is the Steble Fountain. The cast- iron fountain, in front of the Walker Art Gallery, is also a Grade II listed building and dates back to 1879.   

There are plenty of photos of children playing in the fountain, dating back as far as the 19th Century.  The attraction of water sculptures for adventurous children is no less in the modern era.

After a period of the twentieth century when few statues were erected we have now entered a new phase of artistic creation on the streets. Many of these revolve around the Liverpool music scene, like Ringo Starr in Cavern Walks.

And Eleanor Rigby, sculpted by Tommy Steele in 1982.

If you would like to see more sculptures from around the world please click on this link


  1. These are lovely. I particularly like the lion. xoxox

  2. That Superlambanana, I wonder what people said when they saw it for the first time?
    I love all of these except for the aforementioned yellow one, I don't think that APPEALS to me!

  3. Thank you for the lovely tour!

  4. I had forgotten about some of these. I used to work in one of the offices overlooking the water sculpture in the antepenultimate photo. I often think I might go back and see if it's still there. Perhaps something for the summer CJ.

  5. I really must get to have another look at Liverpool. It looks as if I'd be happy for a week.

  6. There is rather a shocking shift from the 19th and 20th century statues and monuments to the 21st century sculptural art!!

  7. I remember the penguins! With so many grand and historic sculptures it's nice to see the city also has modern works being introduced. I like Ringo - I guess it won't be long and that will be historic, too.

  8. I am impressed by your many sculptures. Love to see each of them:traditional ones, gorgeous ones, pretty ones: It is hard to choose my favorite though....the eighth and the last one are mine!!
    Thank you for sharing!

  9. I had to google 'Liver Birds' and really am not much wiser. They look like an emu or moa, but the Wikipedia likens them to a cormorant. I think I need a little more research. Great post!

  10. You are surrounded by lots of interesting sculptures, all telling a story or two.

  11. I remember some of these from previous blog posts of yours. They're well worth repeating! :) The decorated lambananas and penguins remind me of the "buddy bears" we had exhibited in Borås a couple of years ago in December (although quite possibly it's the other way round - I don't know who or where may have been the first to let a whole series of copies of a certain shape to be decorated by various artists).


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