Public art in Swindon

‘1989 – Artist: Tim Sandys-Renton.

Material: Cast Aluminium, Cast Iron. Commissioned by Thamesdown Borough Council through the Percent for Art Policy’

In the first post of this series I wrote about the statue of Diana Dors outside the cinema at Shaw Ridge. This post features the next one you come to on the walk.

 Like all the sculptures on this trail, the mid-late 1980s saw its installed during the building of the western expansion.

The blurb we used on the walk describes the sculpture as inviting the observer to transport themselves into the future and view it as an archeological artefact from the 20th century. Which of course is somewhat the reality for it now …

Located on one of the many superb big green spaces that West Swindon features, it’s quite easy to forget that one is in the middle of a big conurbation. It needs little imagination to see the artist’s intention for the sculpture as a relic of a long gone civilization.

How the Mighty Fall

I really rather liked this piece of artwork – it’s definitely one of my favourites of the set.  Certainly it brings transport to mind – from the initial approach it looks rather like an aeroplane that has crash-landed.

Viewed from behind it reminded me of some sort of carriage type conveyance with the ‘body’ of the carriage in the middle and the wheels either side. From one side there appears to be an impression of a face screaming – the eponymous mighty falling perhaps?  In fact, whatever angle you look at it you see something new and thought provoking.

One doesn’t have to like a piece of art to find it interesting but I liked this one a lot. But hey – don’t take my word for it. Why not go and have a look for yourself and see what you make of it.

So far then, we found two on the list still in existence. But how many more of them did we find? And, given the passage of time since they were installed, what sort of condition did we find them in?

The rest of the posts reveal all.

An extract from this post on the topic of this particular sculpture: A West Swindon Sculpture Trail Travelogue:

‘Installed in 1989 its creator invited observers to transport themselves into the future. He wanted them to view it as a 20th century archeological artefact. An envisioning made reality with the turn of the century and an invitation the visitor to this shape-shifting sculpture is compelled to accept as it neither willingly nor easily relinquishes its meaning.

Viewed from one angle you can see a crash-landed WWII aeroplane. A perception encouraged by the imprint it bears of arms and hands cupped around a mouth that appears to be screaming.

Walk right round to the other side of it and it changes completely. Now there’s a torso of man imprinted on the metal. Viewed from behind it becomes something else entirely, conjuring an image of a slender, silver, slither of a carriage with red wheels either side of it. In this view it’s emanating a sense of something alien, a sense of alterity.’

See all my writings about the West Swindon Sculpture walk here.

And a map of the walk here.

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