3rd January 2017
The ran sculpture in Swindon Old Town
Sheepish public art in Swindon
When I mention RAM dear listeners I speak not of Random Access Memory a la computer land but of the Sheepish public art in Swindon.
I get that, as this article – http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/10638539.Staying_in_the_public_eye/ – by Barry Leighton in the Swindon Advertiser posits, the ram is a ‘fitting reminder of a livestock market that thrived there for more than a century’ but what I want to know is this:
Our town’s name ‘Swindon’ might be derived from the Old English words “swine” and “dun” meaning “pig hill”. Though another possible explanation is that of Sweyn’s hill, where Sweyn is a personal name’ – see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swindon.
So given the former hypothesis, why oh why is there not, SOMEWHERE, a sculpture of a pig?! I’m not for a moment suggesting that there shouldn’t be a ram but surely there ought to be pig too? Don’t you think? Why is there a ram but no ham?!
Other animal-themed public art in Swindon
We’ve got a gorilla and a cow and a ram. Then there’s Turtle Storm in Queen’s Park and The Wishhounds up near Nationwide HQ. Then we have a lion and whole host of other public art but no pig in a town purportedly named Pig Hill. I mean – this is rash surely? Shouldn’t someone be sheepish about this omission? The baaaaaa faced cheek of it.
About the ram
Installed in 1989 and fashioned from bronze, this stolid Old Wiltshire Horn (1989) the work of Jon Buck guards a small housing estate off Marlborough Road in Old Town.
Project details: Commissioned by Thamesdown Borough Council through the Percent for Art Policy and funded by Trencherwood Homes (Western) Ltd. The ram is placed on the site of the old livestock market.
Directions: Travelling north on the Marlborough Road, Dewell Mews is on the left before Newport Street.
And here he is – a handsome beast albeit minus the wellies that some wag once dressed him in.
And here he is sporting his Hello Kitty wellies! A case of mutton dressed as ram?!
Find more posts about Swindon’s pubic art here: https://swindonian.me/category/public-art-sculpture/ and also: https://swindonian.me/category/ten-things-to-celebrate-about-swindon/