If you have been stuck in traffic driving into London from the M4 you may have noticed this sculpture jammed, like you, between the dual carriageway and a yew hedge. It sits on a brick plinth, untitled and with no indication of who was responsible for this piece of civic art.
I wonder if it is a copy of some famous sculpture? Or is it an inspiration? Whatever it is, it is a monumental failure. It is cast in concrete which gives the piece a coarseness that my photograph does not fully convey. I cannot believe that it was intended for this site. I think it turned out so badly that it has been hidden here as concrete has no scrap value.
Here is another concrete sculpture, Gulliver the Gentle Giant. When it was created in 1976 it was supposedly the biggest concrete sculpture in the world. It was in Craigmillar, an Edinburgh suburb, but has been demolished. Frankly it does not persuade me that concrete is a suitable medium for sculpture.
The sculptor’s name may ring a bell: Jimmy Boyle. He created this concrete blob, improbably, while serving a fifteen year sentence in Barlinnie Prison for murdering a gangland rival. He was released in 1982, when John Mortimer called on him for breakfast and to write a profile for The Sunday Times. Hot croissants and black coffee, cheese with herbs in it, and grapes and tangerines; an eclectic menu, especially for a Glasgow murderer. Mortimer allows Jimmy to put his case, protesting his innocence and telling of being beaten up by the prison wardens but takes it with a pinch of salt.