materials: Bronze sculpture
techniques: Bronze casting from original clay maquette
dimensions: 1.2 x 0.6 x 2m
brief: Sculpture for the garden restoration project
commissioned by: Bangor Council
The cast bronze sculpture on this site takes its overall design from the synthesis of a number of historical factors that relate to the history of Bangor and the context of the Victorian garden. These are:
Firstly, the name Bangor comes from Beannchor, which means “curved horn” and relates to the shape of the bay.
Secondly, the curved horns are reminiscent of the prow of a Viking long ship.
Thirdly, the unfurling fronds of a fern, which the Victorians collected for their gardens.
Finally, the impact of Christianity, represented by a crosier.
The boat shape can also relate to the importance of seafaring in Bangor with connections to the travels of St. Comgal through to modern day sailing boats.
The main body of the sculpture is a simple filigree design in cast and patinated bronze raised on a plinth of curved sandstone.It incorporates aspects which relate to Bangor’s history: the mermaid featured in the annals of Gomgall, The gold tooth of the whale sent to Beannchair in 739, Bangor Bell and plants such as the fern and acanthus collected by the Victorians. The filigree design resembles cast iron structures used by the Victorians in their gardens (gates, weathervanes). It’s simple shape and structure also resembles garden topiary, popular in Victorian times.