Art has long been an important part of society, often forming landmarks in major cities across the world or on the side of roads, like the Angel of the North just off the A1 in Tyne and Wear.
London has many remarkable statues on its streets, and one of the statues people are talking about at the moment is in Devonshire Square, right in the City.
The art is not new, but it is newly-refurbished and is now positioned where more people will see it. The impressive statue of a knight in armour on his horse looks as if it might have been inspired by shows like Game of Thrones, though it has been around since 1990, long before the TV series hit our screens.
The knight is now a fixture on a grassy knoll and is quite the conversation piece.
Horses are not unusual in art, nor is a man riding a horse, but this sculpture is different in that it is made from beaten metal and not from bronze, which is a very popular material for statues.
The National Portrait Gallery outlines a brief history of using bronze in sculpture and why so many artists have picked it as their medium of choice. Even today, artists like Gill Parker www.gillparker.com are making a name for themselves with their bronze horse sculptures and other wildlife inspired art.
As for this statue in beaten metal, it goes further with decorations of blue crystals – perhaps a bit much in combat, but beautiful to look at on your lunch-break!
It is thought that this knight represents one of the Cnihtengild, a group of 13 noblemen who were granted land in the area in the 10th century. Standard Life Assurance have succeeded as custodians of the land, to the east of Aldgate to Bishopgate line, since 1978 and they commissioned the sculpture by Denys Mitchell. The statue now stands in the Cutlers Gardens area of Devonshire Square, where there is daily foot traffic to see the restored magnificence.
Mitchell’s previous projects include railings for the Standard Life office in Edinburgh. This particular statue, with the all the intricate detailing to the horse’s caparison (its blanket) took in the region of three years to complete, becoming almost a member of the family in that time!