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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

Advancing Research and Publication of Public Statues and Sculpture

Eve Shepherd, The Betty Campbell Monument, Central Square, Cardiff, Wales. Photo: Molyneux Associates. Winner of the 2022 PSSA Marsh Public Vote.

The Public Statues and Sculpture Association (PSSA)

The PSSA encourages engagement with the many thousands of sculptures in the public domain across the UK, which represent an important part of our shared cultural heritage. It champions the historical, artistic and social context of public statues and sculpture, and also promotes education about sculpture, publishing articles, academic papers and specialist books. For more details see About Us.
Please help the PSSA achieve its objectives by becoming a member.

Veronica Ryan OBE wins 2022 PSSA Marsh Award for Excellence in Public Sculpture

 

‘l am absolutely thrilled at this brilliant news!’ Veronica Ryan OBE

 

Veronica Ryan wins the 2022 PSSA Marsh Award for Excellence in Public Sculpture with her landmark Windrush commission Custard Apple (Annonaceae), Breadfruit (Moraceae) and Soursop (Annonaceae) in Narrow Way Square, Hackney. Unveiled in 2021  to coincide with Black History Month, this sculpture which was selected as the winner by the PSSA Marsh Awards judging panel from nine shortlisted works, was Britain’s first public monument to commemorate the Windrush Generation. It comprises three Caribbean fruits; a soursop tropical fruit in bronze, a large, finely carved petalled custard apple in Carrara marble, and a breadfruit with its honeycomb skin in bronze. The beautifully detailed work references narratives of migration and movement and draws on the artist’s memories of seeing these fruits when visiting east London markets as a child, including Hackney’s Ridley Road Market.

Veronica Ryan, OBE Custard Apple (Annonaceae), Breadfruit (Moraceae), and Soursop (Annonaceae), 2021. Courtesy: the artist, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, and Alison Jacques, London.(Photo: Andy Keate, 2021).

Public Statue of Britan’s first Black Headmistress wins  the Public Vote

Eve’s Shepherd’s The Betty Campbell Monument, which stands in Central Square, Cardiff won the 2022 public vote. A well-researched and sympathetic work, this bronze conveys the magic of learning which was central to Betty Campbell’s ethos and has engaged the local community and those beyond with its insight into her character. Betty Campbell MBE (19341-2017), a local schoolteacher,  became a figurehead for education and the teaching of Black history as well as Britain’s first black headmistress.

On winning the public vote the sculptor, Eve Shepherd said, ‘ I am truly honoured that The Betty Campbell Monument has won the Public vote! Who, in my opinion, is better qualified to judge sculptures made for public spaces, than the public themselves!

A public sculpture depicting not only women, but the black community has been long overdue and I’m proud of the Monumental Welsh Women’s Committee, Betty Campbell’s family, the people of Cardiff and the Black community for entrusting me to represent this sculpture and an incredible woman.

Thank goodness that the world is turning and little girls and non-white children can now proudly see depictions of people like themselves celebrated within the cities they grow up in.

Thank you to all who took the time out of their busy lives to vote for The Betty Campbell Monument.’

The runners up in the Public Vote were Diane Lawrenson for her fine bronze portrait sculpture of the nineteenth-century lesbian, Anne Lister, at the Piece Hall in Halifax and  Ben Twiston-Davies for his perceptive statue of Ebenezer Howard, pioneer of the Garden City movement, at Welwyn in Hertfordshire, one of the garden cities founded by Howard.

Eve Shepherd, The Betty Campbell Monument, Central Square, Cardiff, Wales. Photo: Molyneux Associates. Winner of the 2022 PSSA Marsh Public Vote.

Rupert Harris Conservation carry off 2022 PSSA Marsh Award for Excellence in the Conservation of a Public Sculpture

 

The conservation award was hotly contested this year with three very different but particularly interesting projects. Rupert Harris Conservation, who have just celebrated 40 years in the profession, were the winners with their skilful conservation of the eighteenth-century lead Bargate Lions, which had suffered considerable damage through the centuries. Southampton County Council were closely involved with the project and the decision was made to return the lions’ painted surface which had been lost over the years, so that they now blend  beautifully with the stonework of their background as originally intended.

The runners up in this category were Jackson Sculpture Conservation for their excellent work on the conservation of Barbara Hepworth’s Turning Forms at The Marlborough Science Academy, Watling Street, St Albans in Hertfordshire and London Stone Conservation for their fascinating work on King Alfred the Great in Trinity Church Square Gardens, London, an intriguing statue which combines Roman spolia of the second century AD with late eighteenth/early nineteenth-century Coade stone.

Bargate Lions after conservation showing the conservation/reinstatement team. (Photo credit: © Rupert Harris Conservation Ltd).

Explore the  PSSA Database –  UK Public Sculptures of Women

Over 100 public statues of women can be found in the UK. On the occasion of International Women’s Day, 8 March 2021, the PSSA launched a database of non-royal sculptures representing women of achievement from past and present.

The first statue commemorating a named black woman in the UK; the first female UK Prime Minister; the first woman to take her seat in the House of Commons; the first woman to become mayor of a London borough; the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia; the first British woman to win all four major tennis tournaments; the first woman apart from members of the royal family to be commemorated in a statue. They can all be found here.

Discover the statues of women in  your local area or tell the PSSA about those which are missing from the database. The 143 statues now on the database is the start, it is not definitive, please help us to keep this interesting resource alive and current.

Martin Jennings FRSS, Mary Seacole, St Thomas’ Hospital, London.
Photo: Creative Commons CC BY-SA 4.0