These appeared at places I visited, or had not intended to visit …
|I got lost before I started - this is Brunswick Square ...|
... lots of connections here too - anon!
My head too has wandered rather far and wide in looking things up for this post noting future articles … but for now we’ll stick to a few relevant heads …
(1748 - 1832)
I’d been to see an exhibition at Senate House Library … but on walking through to the exhibition area I passed some renowned heads … well I like to know who’s who in the library … so stopped to take photos and to find out … the first was:
Jeremy Bentham (1748 – 1832) the English philosopher, jurist and social reformer regarded as the founder of modern utilitarianism …
|Sorry Mr B - I chopped|
your head off
Bentham thought it was unfair and wrong that universities should be controlled by religious bodies and that they were open only to male members of the Church of England.
So he helped to found University College, London, a secular college open to all males, regardless of personal belief.
|UCL's beloved treasure -|
his auto icon
His other claim to fame was that he wished his body to be used for medical research, but that his skeleton, dressed in his own clothes, was to be preserved in University College, so that he could continue to attend meetings there!
His clothed skeleton, with sculpted head and hands, can still be seen in a glass case in University College, being one of their treasured possessions.
|Augustus de Moran|
(1806 - 1871)
The other three sculptures that I saw were men associated in one way or another with reforming Britain:
|Augustus de Morgan|
Augustus de Morgan (1806 – 1871) – a mathematician and logician. He formulated De Morgan’s laws (beyond me!) and introduced the term mathematical induction, making his idea rigorous. (father to William de Morgan, the potter and creative designer, who influenced the Arts and Craft Movement.)
|Sir Richard Quain|
Next we see Sir Richard Quain (1816 – 1898) an Irish physician, who enrolled in medicine at University College London … and who, along with other members of his family, left funds with which the Quain Professorships of Botany, English Language and Literature, Law and Physics were endowed. (He was a great grandfather of author Ian Fleming).
Last but not least the bearded sculpture (by Thomas Woolner), no extant photo of him appears, is of William Shaen (1825 – 1892) a radical lawyer, who helped found Bedford College – the UK’s first higher education college for women.
I then went round the corner to see an exhibition at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) on ‘Stolen Moments - Namibian Music History Untold’ … another post anon!
|Sculptures by Sokari Douglas Camp|
But you couldn’t miss these two magnificent sculptures in the foyer of SOAS made from galvanised steel and paint by Sokari Douglas Camp …
|Sokari Douglas Camp|
… she works predominantly with steel (which she describes as ‘so elastic and flexible’), but also with plastic, wood, feathers, acetate, glass, paint, silver, and gold leaf.
I quickly went to look at the Silver Vaults off Chancery Lane – I need a long time there, and preferably with a very long pocket – but I found some interesting facts for yet another post!
I was on my way down to Whitechapel, east London to the Gallery that, on Thursdays, stays open into the evening – I was defeated as the works on show or exhibited were beyond my ken! but …
… as I didn’t actually know where the Gallery was … I had wandered into a large atrium, thinking that might be the Gallery, to ask.
I found myself with two more heads … and a delightful security guard … who - when I squizzed him about them – was somewhat bemused!
|The atrium with 'Numen 2'|
I understand the CEO was impressed with the sculptor –hence the placement of Numen 1 and Numen 2 in the foyer … they had been part of last year’s Sculpture in the City …
The sculptor, Thomas J Price, is a multi-disciplinary artist, London born and based, working across the mediums of sculpture, film, photography and performance.
His very individual work explores representation in its many forms – in addition to subconscious perceptions embedded into the human psyche …
Numen is a Latin term for “divinity”: "the spirit of the place—its numen—was strong" – the spirit or divine power presiding over a thing or a place.
Price is talented … exhibiting at the National Portrait Gallery, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Harewood House and Hales Gallery (a contemporary art space in the Tea Building in London’s East End).
Renowned artist Damian Hirst owns his work, while other works can also be found in the Rennie Collection (contemporary art) in Vancouver, Canada (but with global connections) – it’s no mean feat for an artist still in their 30s.
Heads, heads, heads and heads … including Bentham’s head (believe it or not) still preserved: mummified and securely locked away … gave me lots of insights into life in this great city from the early 1800s …
|Study on proportions of Head and Eyes|
by Leonardo da Vinci (1452 - 1519)
… including the advancement of education … as evidenced in Negley Harte’s quote: ‘All universities are different, but some are more different than others. The University of London is the most different of them all.’
Negley Harte is an Emiritus Professor in Economic History and has written widely on the foundation and history of the University of London.
My head is bursting … to get this posted … as you can tell rather more articles to follow … so for now I’ll leave Heads in the City … in the City …
Apologies – this is long … but I wanted to at least highlight various subjects (as no doubt you can gather) referencing some background for future posts.
Here too are some links … on the artists …
Thomas J Price – website
Sokari Douglas Camp - the sculptor
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