Sculpture Journal

From pitch to plinth: documenting the United Kingdom's football statuary

Sculpture Journal (2013), 22, (1), 148–160.

Abstract

Since the early 1990s there has been a rapid growth in the number of football-related statues in the UK; however, this has passed largely unnoticed by both art critics and academic research, most likely due to a lack of appreciation of sporting art in general. This article aims to address this oversight by investigating and documenting existing and planned football statuary: 52 existing subject-specific statues were identified as of 1 June 1 2011, with at least 13 more commissioned or planned. Distinct stages in the creation process are outlined and described, namely project instigation; sourcing of funding; commissioning a sculptor; the designing, sculpting and production of the statue; location selection; and finally unveiling. Three separate design types, namely 'triumph', 'action' and 'posed', are identified. The increase in this relatively new genre of statuary does not appear to be diminishing, and may even develop new forms of presentation.

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Details

Author details

Stride, Christopher

Wilson, John

Thomas, Ffion