Wednesday, 4 February 2015

All Kinds Of Things In All Kinds Of Places

I've mentioned before that Cambridge has more than its fair share of sculpture. Most of us who live here take very little notice of it as we go about our daily lives. Odd people write letters of complaint to the local paper; and even odder people stop to take a photo. But not many.

"Mother And Child" by Sophie Dickens

High on the wall of the new John Lewis department store is this very human study of a mother and child. It's constructed of carved wood which is added to a metal "skeleton", making it look as though we can see the internal musculature. It's housed in a glass case which makes it difficult to photograph, especially in bright sunlight, as all sorts of unwanted reflections creep in. 

House Sparrow by  Gordon Young....and Andrew Motion

I showed you several of these "bird stones" which have been erected in the old Mill Road Cemetery. Here's one I didn't include in that earlier post. The House Sparrow stone stands in clear sight of a row of Victorian houses. Despite the sparrow's apparent ubiquity its numbers are sadly declining, which former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion reflects in his words.

"Gathering Of Owls" by Christine Fox

I came across these Owls in the garden of Murray Edwards College and learned that they were by Christine Fox. She lived and worked in Coton, the next village to where I grew up. It's made of slate and incised with labyrinthine symbols, I love its prehistoric feel.

"Duma - Cheetah" by Jane Ackroyd

Also at Murray Edwards College was this remarkable iron cheetah. It took a bit of research to find the artist as the sculpture is not mentioned on the college's web site. But eventually I found the Jane Ackroyd's web page and I advise you to take a look too as she does much fine work.

 "Chauvinist" by Helaine Blumenfeld

This massive granite work stands on the corner of Brooklands Avenue in Cambridge. You can see some more work by this sculptor here.

 Virgin Mary And St Peter - Fifteenth Century Medieval Alabaster (unknown artist)

I don't know much about this and neither does anyone else. But it's very attractive, particularly in the glow of the bulbs which light it, and nowadays resides in the chapel of Pembroke College, if you want to view it.

And finally.....the fairy tale was not to be. Last night our local soccer team was ejected from the FA Cup in a replay at Manchester United's ground. Despite the score they were not disgraced and left with heads held high - and pockets very full; the TV money and their share of the night's takings will keep the little club out of debt for a while. 

Good luck to Bradford, Preston and the other less fashionable clubs still left in the competition!

Take care.


  1. Nice to see such sculptures. Unfortunately public sculpture just doesn't seem as popular here as in Europe. It's one of the things we enjoy while travelling.

  2. Nice artwork, all of the sculptures. We have lots of public art on our downtown transit mall. I walk it every day, and don't notice it as much anymore.

  3. We are spending a week in Aldebrough in May John and are inclined to go to Cambridge for the day - whenever you publish photos and writing about the place it makes me more eager to go.

  4. Lovely sculptures you have there. I especially like the mother/child and the cheetah. I'm always so delighted by such creativity. Beautiful!

  5. Nice dream while it lasted... We'll see how Bradford fare against Sunderland. Love that cheetah, such power and movement captured in it.

  6. Love the owls, and the mother and child, - and the sparrow stone a sweet tribute to that lovely familiar bird. Still lots of them here in Canada!!!!

  7. Another absorbing post, John. The fine mother and child sculpture seems to be excellent, though I agree that it is a bit hard to see. The stone with the poetry is really to my liking, as is the racing cheetah. Fine sculptures in Cambridge, no doubt.

  8. I have really enjoyed these interesting sculptures and thank you so much for the links. Splendid photos John.

  9. Interesting sculptures. I really like the Mother and Child!

  10. lovely sculptures. 3D art was something I could never get the hang of. It's a mystery to me how a sculpture can incorporate all the elements. Funny how, when we see something every day, we literally lose sight of it. You've reminded me to slow down and LOOK.

  11. Just found your blog. Enjoyed your sculpture trail. Particularly like the mother & child on the wall of John Lewis. I think it's great that towns, shops & councils continue to have public sculpture. Like you said at the beginning, we just need to take a little time to appreciate them. Thanks for sharing them.

  12. Your visual story-telling continues, and the interest for following these trails of yours increases. Is there anything dull in this area? Pity about your soccer club, though.

  13. Interesting blog - we have not been to Cambridge only Oxford in that area - what wonderful sculpture and I particularly like the sparrow stone - wishing you a good weekend - Jane

  14. Its fun checking out sceptres in your own town. Its a while since I have done that... a future must do. Sorry to hear about your football team, I was luckier with Australia winning the Asia Cup against South Korea. It was an exciting nail biting match.

  15. One wonderful benefit of being a photographer is it "allows" us to take the time to really look, to see what so many others miss.


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