I thought I would take a short break from my usual blog posts to mark the passing of an artist whose name you may not know, but whose work will definitely recognise if you have lived in the Birmingham area for a number of years. Birmingham born Raymond Mason who passed away earlier this month made the Forward sculpture, pictured above, that sat in Centenary Square for a number of years. The sculpture was inaugurated by the Queen in 1991 and set on fire by vandals in 2003. It is a sculpture that I grew up with and remember fondly. The sculpture made of fibre-glass showing the planned regeneration of Birmingham in the 1990s divided opinion. Known as the ‘Lurpack sculpture’ and described as ‘Stalinist’ it became an iconic sculpture that represented the city.
As an artist and art lover, the wanton destruction of something that someone has worked, slaved on for months, years, no matter if I personally like it or not pains me greatly.
Whatever you thought of Forward, it is a damned sight better than the now guilded monstrous bling statue of Boulton, Watt and Murdock statue outside the Department for Sport!
You can read Raymond Mason’s obituary here.