The woman with sausages

Listen to artists. It doesn’t matter that you don’t understand them yet. Listen to them; then do what they suggest. They have the gift of being able to visualise.

My home town in Devon has a war memorial. It’s the site for remembrance services and is scattered with paper and plastic poppies in the season. The memorial is a high column topped by a statue of a woman, symbolising victory, breaking chains. It’s known locally as the woman with sausages, as the chains look like strings of sausages from the ground. I doubt that’s the name the artist wanted it to have, but then did did Normal Foster really want his signature building at 30 St Mary Axe to be called the Gherkin? The public own public works of art and won’t be told what to call anything.

The war memorial is not meant to be here. It’s meant to be in the park around the corner. It’s also not meant to be facing this way. It’s meant to be lit up by the sun every day. Here, where it was unceremoniously plonked, there’s not a single day on which the sun shines on her face.

Here, then, is the beautifully-lit back of the woman with sausages.

War Memorial - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)
Victory finally breaks from the chains that bound her.

The artist, Courtney Edward Maxwell Pollock, wasn’t happy with where it was sited. We should have listened.

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