Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Gun Culture

Two new sculptures have caught my eye this week. Situated at opposite ends of the country (one in my old home town of London, the other in my adopted home of Manchester) they each in their own way are inspired by guns.

The first may not look particularly remarkable, until you read it’s background story. The Tree of Life was commissioned by Christian Aid and the British museum and was formed from decommissioned weapons in Mozambique. A present day take on the biblical concept of turning swords into ploughshares.

The second is the B of the Bang; located over by the City of Manchester Stadium about a mile and a half from where I live, it was finally completed and unveiled recently.

It's certainly impressively imposing.

Again the backstory helps one understand it better. Commissioned to mark the Commonwealth Games, held in Manchester the other year, the sculpture is inspired by a quote from the sprinter Linford Christie regarding his mental attitude at the start of a race and how he aims to be out of the blocks at "the B of the Bang”.

It’s no surprise to me that this piece was selected by local residents from a range of choices, there’s something about that quote and concept that fits well with the city and it’s civic pride. Something about being up and at ‘em, first off the blocks, exploding into action and innovation.

It’s also fitting that to get to the sculpture from mine, means a trip down Alan Turing Way.

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