‘How the Mighty Fall 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. The next statue my friend and I examined on the walk was ‘How the Mighty Fall’. Like all the sculptures on this trail it was installed in the mid-late 1980s when the area was being developed. The blurb describes the sculpture as inviting the observer to transport themselves into the future and view the sculpture as an archeological artefact from the 20th century. Which of course is somewhat the reality for it now … Located as it is, on one of the many superb big green spaces that there are in West Swindon (up behind Shaw Ridge), where it’s quite easy to forget that one is in the middle of a big conurbation, it only needs a bit of imagination to see the artists intention for the sculpture as a relic of a long gone civilization …
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. Looked at 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. You don’t have to like a piece of art to find it interesting. But I did like this one. A lot. But hey – don’t take my word for it – go and have a look for yourself and see what you make of it.
Oh, incidentally, you might recall in the previous post I said my companion was going to have a crack at interpreting it? Well she got pretty close. In truth I can’t remember exactly what she said – I couldn’t be fagged to take notes – but I do recall it was on the right lines! Impressive eh? 🙂
So far then, we were pleased to find two on the list still in existence. Well actually – ‘Looking to the Future’ near the West Swindon Centre definitely is (though in need of a bit of TLC), as I wrote about that in a separate blog post written before I tackled this walk. But how many more of them did we find and, more to the point perhaps given the passage of time since they were installed, what sort of condition did we find them in?
Diana Dors, as can we seen in part 1 of this series and in the ‘ten things I like about Swindon No 4 – Diana Dors’ post’, is in fairly decent condition – apart, of course, from the chewing gum bogey! And the sculpture featured here is in decent enough nick for its age. As for the rest? Well watch this space!
The map and literature we used can be found on t’internet here: http://www.visitwiltshire.co.uk/xsdbimgs/The%20Sculpture%20Tour%20West%20Swindon.pdf