Municipal Sculpture

I reckon that Burton-on-Trent must have some of the dodgiest sculputre in the country. It’s not the older pieces, the war memorial has quite a nice angel on for instances, it’s the new pieces that have appered over the last decade that seriously make me ince and wonder what on Earth the council is thinking off. Take this little beauty for instance…

…a giant marmite jar. It’s about 4ft high. It just suddenly appered in January of this year with no warning at all. It has invitingly flat surface just crying out for humerous graffiti, I think a best before date would be good 🙂

But even stranger is this…

…a giant shovel in the middle of town. It’s about 15ft tall so it really dominates its surrondings. The really sad thing about though is it’s meant to be a hops shovel but the artist who designed made it the wrong shape.

Looking at this I can clearly see that there is a silver lining to the cloud of the ressecion in that the council now don’t have the funds to spend on things like random sculpture. Burton can now breath a sigh of relief.


3 thoughts on “Municipal Sculpture

  1. If it’s any consolation, Exeter has this dubious entity:

    People kept stealing the balls and replacing them with Coke cans! (The door just behind it leads to one of the city’s less salubrious temping agencies; my theory is that the pyramid is there to distract people who might otherwise fall victim to them…)

    Also, in Heavitree (to the east of the city) there’s this horror:

    It actually looked worse before it was graffiteed!

    • Those are both shockers! I’m not suprised those silver balls keep getting stolen. They look like they’d be very hard to secure in place properly. As for the arches piece I think the graffiti was to a higher standard. The artist had obviously put some thought in to putting over his objections in a humourous and visually effective way. I haven’t a clue what the arches are about.

      I sometimes wonder about the thinking behind the materials that get chosen for these types of work. What idiot would erect a free-standing GLASS panel on a public street, it’s just crying out to have a brick put through it. I suppose this is where Burton’s giant shovel wins, it’s smash proof, dents can be hammered out and it’s very easy to clean the graffiti off.

  2. I would like to answer the comments on the two Exeter pieces. The balls on the stainless steel pyramid do not keep being stolen. They are about 30 cms in diameter – much larger than a Coke can. Read this page to find out what it is about (
    A description of the meaning behind the arch is on the webpage so how can write that ‘I haven’t a clue what the arches are about’. Both pieces in Exeter relate to the history of the city and its people. You may deride them because you don’t like their forms, but I can assure you that they do relate to Exeter.

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