Sunday 5 February 2017

Sunday Snap – Winged Figure

We were in the Isle of Wight on the trail of The Disappearing Village. I asked what is name of the UK's oldest amusement park and the answer is

Blackgang Chine

Enjoying the view with the right answer were Kara, Cheryl, Sarah, Mich, Erica plus Anne who remembers a trip to Blackgang Chine and finding her brother, who had wandered off, in teepee!

We're back in London for this week's Sunday Snap with a visit to its most popular shopping street. Situated on the corner of Oxford Street and Holles Street is John Lewis' flagship store. Although you may have missed it yourself whilst walking down Oxford Street it is estimated that the sculpture known as Winged Figure is seen by around 200 million people each year.

The previous John Lewis store on Oxford Street was damaged during the war. A new building was built and reopened in 1961. The management became interested in the idea of a sculpture on the side of the building and asked seven artists to compete for the commission. None of the designs that they produced were accepted. Instead they decided to ask just one of the artists to come up with a design. As a business John Lewis is based on the principle that each of their employees is a partner. They asked this Yorkshire born sculptress to produce a piece that evoked, "the idea of common ownership and common interests in a partnership of thousands of workers". The first design was known as Three Forms in Echelon but yet again John Lewis rejected it. As an alternative the artist suggested an enlargement based on a piece she made in 1957 known as Winged Figure I.

Upon its completion she said,

I think one of our universal dreams is to move in air and water without the resistance of our human legs. I wanted to evoke this sense of freedom. If the Winged Figure in Oxford Street gives people a sense of being airborne in rain and sunlight and nightlight I will be very happy. It is a project I have long wished to fulfil and this site with its wonderful oblique wall was quite perfect.”

It was made from sheet aluminium in her Palais Studio based in St. Ives, Cornwall. The 5.8m structure was then transported by road from Cornwall to London. It was restored in 2012 shortly before its 50th anniversary celebrations. In January 2016 it was granted Grade II* listed status. Although the creator of this sculpture died in 1975 her work lives on at permanent museums named after her in both her hometown of Wakefield and her adopted Cornish home of St. Ives. This week's question is

Who designed the Winged Figure?

We were joined last week by Kara seeing the sun through the trees and blowing out the candles. In France Cheryl found the rather scary pollution snow. Anne was enjoying a flaming meal for her son's birthday. There was another birthday for Cécile and her son. Don't forget the two birthdays as well at Susan's. In Northern Ireland baby May has been enjoying the first weeks of her life outdoors with her brothers. Finally, Laura shared a photo of her children with their grandparents.

If you want to join in with this week's Sunday Snap then add your link to the linky below. Any theme is allowed. It doesn't have to be published today as you have until 23.55 on Friday 10th February 2017 to join in. Just make sure it is your photo and you hold the copyright for it. 

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  1. It's Barbara Hepworth. I loved the quote, I wish I could move through air and water without my useless human legs. Thanks for hosting, I love learning something new each week xx

  2. I am ashamed to say that i have no idea

  3. That is a wonderful sculpture. I love this. I have no idea on this one, sorry xx

  4. I can't believe I have never seen this sculpture, I've shopped in that John Lewis so many times. I obviously need to look up more. Mich x

  5. I've never seen it! Shall look for it hen next in London x

  6. Interesting shape! But have no idea what it is!

  7. Do you know, I lived in London for 10 years and actually worked on Oxford Street - walking past this sculpture every day but I didn't know its name! I'm afraid I don't know the answer to your question either! :-(

  8. I love the sculpture but have no idea what it is x x x


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