I was working last week in Camden in London doing some conservation work on the Amy Winehouse statue by sculptor Scott Eaton. She’s a fabulous sculpture and in such a cool trendy place. Camden, is a place I can count as my own back yard. Born in north London, I used to go there when I was younger and as a university student in Bloomsbury, I spent a lot of my evening-time there. It was always a vibrant place but it’s been cleaned up a lot since those days – and, The Stables, which is the area Amy stands in is well worth checking out: cool shops, and really unusual aesthetics – colossal shiny robots, Hansel and Grettles Emporium, and loads more besides. Amy is a fabulous little statue and I say little because it is a life size sculpture and when you stand next to her, you realize how slender she was. She had a waist that Scarlet O’Hara would have been jealous of – needless to say I felt like a hippo standing next to her, and as I had my son assisting me on this project, he was only too quick to agree with me on this point. The statue was suffering from too much love. Incredibly that really is possible. Her adoring fans love her so much that thye can’t help themselves from touching every inch of her surface and there’s a reason why bronze statues were traditionally put on big stone plinths – it’s partly to protect them. Sweat on people’s hands can be ruinous to a bronze’s patina and sadly, Amy looked a little like she’d developed a disease because the surface had become quite disfigured.

I’m glad to report that she’s looking much better now and I do encourage you to visit her. What a gal, what a voice, what a statue and how fondly she’s remembered by people in that spot. I had several visitors stop to tell me that she was their friend, and others who shared anecdotes about her.

There aren’t actually that many sculptures in the Borough of Camden, though there’s plenty of great murals (but that’s another show..) and she’s perfect for the place. I’m not sure any other celebrity could have fitted in quite so well.

If you’d like to see some more sculpture in the zone, and a very handsome park thrown in,  let me encourage you to roam less than 2 miles to Regents Park to the Queen Mary’s Garden. It’s really not far from there. Although, there are several statues in the park, my favourite one which  I never, never miss whenever I visit there is – The Triton fountain Designed by William McMillan. He also designed one of the fountains in Trafalgar Square.  . I think this fountain is one of our country’s best.

Sculptural fountains have all sorts of functional problems with them – they block up, you get leaks, limescale: they really are awkward which is why many of the Victorian ones don’t perform their true purposes any more. This one though, is really spectacular when its going full throttle. If the wind blows, you are liable to get wet but it’s super! The statues are full of energy, the figures are magnificent and they thrash about and make mischief – I love them.

Image By Stephen McKay, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=13687055

Just to finish up a perfect Sculpture Vulture kind of day, I’d recommend walking to the outskirts of the park – to the roundabout where Lord’s Cricket Ground is – you’ll find in the centre of the roundabout a huge sculpture of George and the Dragon.

We don’t have enough Knights in sculpture – they are so dramatic, perfect subject matter for sculptors and although I’m a huge animal lover, I have to tell you that I find slaying a dragon  just so exciting  – and this one does not let you down. It reminds me so much of the hymn, When A Knight Won His Spurs In The Stories Of Old. I’m not going to sing it because I can’t but – this knight is everything those lyrics tell of. He was gentle and brave, he was gallant and bold
with a shield on his arm and lance in his hand
For God and for valour he rode through the land.

Anyhow, I could go on and tell you about the Wendy Taylor statue only yards away but I’ll save that for another day.

I hope you have a great week and consider visiting these fantastic statues if you have a few hours in London.