Public art of the bovine variety: the GWH cow

Cow sculpture at Great Western  Hospital

Cow sculpture at Great Western Hospital

Whenever I see this cow sculpture it makes me smile and think of one of my favourite Ogden Nash poems:

Two cows, mildly mooing:

No bull; nothing doing’

Which, if you think about it, is a masterclass in understatement.

As is:

‘The cow is of the bovine ilk;

One end is moo, the other milk’

Anyway, I just like that it’s there. Though why a cow exactly? Any particular reason for that, do we know? What I DO know is that it was created in 1987 by Tom Gleeson – the same hand that welded the gorilla that now lives in Queen’s Park.

From Swindon History blogspot: ‘The long time resident gorilla took up his present position in 1994. The welded steel sculpture by Tom Gleeson was purchased by the Borough following an exhibition in the Theatre Square in the mid 1980s. Today he looked particularly fetching with a flower tucked behind his ear by an admirer.’ 

19/07/2013: UPDATE: well, while we might not  know why exactly it’s a cow rather than any other animal we do now know, thanks to a comment on the blog,  this: It used to be at PMH, in an internal courtyard/garden as I remember, and was moved from there when GWH opened. Don’t remember exactly how long it had been there, only that it appeared some time between 1983 and 1990 (dates I worked at PMH).

And the commentor has kindly provided a link to the Swindon flicker collection showing the cow in its original home: http://www.flickr.com/photos/swindonlocal/6835426477/

and also: http://www.flickr.com/photos/swindonlocal/6835426487/in/photostream/

Thank you so much for that. Brilliant!

#swindon #wiltshire #swindonblog  #swindon blog #thingstodoinswindon #thingstoseeinswindon #whattodoinswindon #swindonia #swindoniablog #hiddenswindon #swindonian #swiondonia #publicart #sculpture

6 Comments:

  1. It used to be at PMH, in an internal courtyard/garden as I remember, and was moved from there when GWH opened. Don’t remember exactly how long it had been there, only that it appeared some time between 1983 and 1990 (dates I worked at PMH).

    • Hello Margie

      Thanks for your comment – that’s really good to hear. I like that. It didn’t get discard but was re-sited. Brilliant! 🙂

  2. Just found this in the Central Library’s Flickr collection. Hope it will link.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/swindonlocal/6835426477/

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