Saturday, 4 June 2016

FLOOZIES AND THINGS


Where are we today then readers ?  Some ancient ruins in the background, clear blue skies?  Yep, today children, we're in Birmingham! Victoria Square to be precise.   It was far too nice (and far too bloody early) to be sitting at my desk yesterday morning so I wondered around the square and took some pics of the sculptures for you.  Aren't you lucky?!  

The above pic shows a corner of the town hall (where the columns are) and the war torn battlements in the back ground are the remains of the old library. Of course they spent millions on the new one on Broad Street didn't they?  But the less said about that... 

Moving on we have the grand old lady who gave the Square it's name when it was renamed in 1901. It was plain old Council House Square previous to Victoria Square.  This statue was originally marble but it weathered considerably and was re-cast in bronze ..     


As happy as ever!

  Apparently she unveiled the original statue in 1901  And died a few days later.  She was obviously not amused at all. 

Coming down the steps we are faced with the statue which divided opinion greatly when it was installed. Anthony Gormley's "Iron: Man" stands some 6 metres tall and represents the industry of the area.  Rumour has it that he was hidden from view when Princess Diana officially opened the newly refurbished square some time ago.   

I feel I should have Black Sabbath's tune of the same name playing in the background of this post.  Tee hee. 

Has he lost his mind?
Can he see or is he blind?
Can he walk at all,
Or if he moves will he fall?
Is he alive or dead?
Has he thoughts within his head?
We'll just pass him there
Why should we even care?

Read more: Black Sabbath - Iron Man Lyrics | MetroLyrics

One wonders if the fact that he is listing gracefully to one side is a nod to the drunks of Brum. ;)  I rather like the old fella personally but then I'm a bit strange too!

Well would you look at this shameless hussey comely maiden reclining topless in the morning sunshine.  
Well really!
She's a sturdy bird - weighing some 1.75 tonnes.  Modelled on me obvs.  This installation (she's been called some things in her time I  can tell you) was once a huge water feature with fountains. Known by locals as the "floozy in the jacuzzi"  and designed by Dhruva Mistry, who won a competition to design a water feature for the site, the formal name for her and the pool in which she once resided is The River.
This is a popular meeting area. In days past it was a favourite place for weary shoppers and stifled office workers to cool their feet in the fountains.  The area houses the German market in November and December and gets so ridiculously busy you couldn't swing a Bratwurst!  Floozy regularly gets decorated with anything from tinsel and santa hats at Christmas to strategically placed traffic cones come Friday night.
floozy in flattering post. 
Unfortunately the water feature element of the piece sprang a leak, initially costing £30000 in repairs.  Once repaired it leaked again and was found to be irreparable and so in 2015, Floozy's jacuzzi became a flower bed!

There is an inscription around the rim of the pool which is taken from a TS Eliot poem 'Burnt Norton' which reads as follows:

And the pool was filled with water out of sunlight,
And the lotos rose, quietly, quietly,
The surface glittered out of heart of light,
And they were behind us, reflected in the pool.
Then a cloud passed, and the pool was empty.


Isn't that lovely?  

Here we have the other part Mistry's installation.  Simply called 'Youth', this is another bronze  sculpture.  

The whole of the design is actually made up of four sets of works, being The River, Guardians, Youth and Object (Variations) which come together to represent youth and eternity.

Here are The Guardians.  They take features from a variety of animals.  That commonly known lesser spotted bald bloke for one.  I personally prefer to call them Thing 1 and Thing 2.  



The obelisks are just that really.  Just sandstone structures approx 7 feet tall. They're just there.  I hadn't realised they were actually part of the installation cos I'm obviously a philistine so here is a pic of one of the glorified lamp bases. I do hope you'll forgive me for not photographing them both! 

So there we have it. A whizz around Victoria Square without leaving your arm chair. I do spoil you!

See you soon. 








7 comments:

  1. I think I like the floozy best, and the youths least. A report on the new library would be fun!

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    1. I shall see what I can do M'dear

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    2. I shall see what I can do M'dear

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  2. I know it wasn't everyone's cup of tea by any stretch of the imagination, but I loved the old library. Birmingham is such a great city, one of my favourites for a weekend visit. We were last there on an exceptionally hot day when a food festival was on, there wasn't much room to swing anything that day either!

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    1. Haha. I love Brum too. It's such a diverse city. thanks for dropping by :)

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    2. Haha. I love Brum too. It's such a diverse city. thanks for dropping by :)

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  3. Thanks for your whistlestop tour...working at the NEC twice a year is the closest I ever get to Birmingham.
    Arilx

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