Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens

“The bronze of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens is one of the most popular statues in London. He stands in a leafy glade about half way along the west bank of the Long Water. This site has a special importance for Peter Pan and was chosen for the statue by J M Barrie, the author who created him.” The statue is by Sir George Frampton, R.A., P.R.B.S. (1860-1928) and the painting is by Margaret W.Tarrant (1888—1959).  She was the only child of Percy Tarrant, a landscape painter.

All three artists understood the site and the audience.

The unwelcome legacy of Abstract Art is its abstraction from clients, places and the public.

5 thoughts on “Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens

  1. Christine

    While it is true that abstract art is often less accessible than narrative or representational art, it has the advantage of being able to express sentiments that are unavailable at any other level. For example; “the idea that art has The spiritual dimension and can transcend ‘every-day’ experience, reaching a spiritual plane.” See abstract music [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abstract_art.]

    For this reason, rather than connecting with clients, places and the public on the expected visual plane, abstract art offers other possibilities of engagement. Consider for the example the recent film about the Grande Chartreuse ‘Into Great Silence’.

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  2. Tom Turner Post author

    Music, partly because it is more commercialised, has more cultural stratification than painting. Pop musicians and classical musicians know the differences in their audiences. Artists (especially abstract artists) are more likely to see themselves as their own clients – and they are likely to be damned by critics and colleagues if they are ‘commercial’. Architects and landscape architects, in my view, should be more like musicians than painters in their awareness of cultural stratification. With regard to the design of parks and public open space, see: http://www.gardenvisit.com/history_theory/library_online_ebooks/architecture_city_as_landscape/parks_cultural_groups_population
    Spiritual awareness is more characteristic of high culture than low culture (I think!).

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  3. Christine

    I have for some time been interested in the role of silence in music.

    (http://www.cobussen.com/proefschrift/300_john_cage/311_silence_and_music/silence_and_music.htm)
    Perhaps, this is so because I am particularly taken with the definition of architecture as ‘frozen music’. Japanese architecture (as an aesthetic) is an architecture of ‘rest’ – perhaps even of sublime balance or equilibrium.

    So I have wondered about an architecture of ‘silence’. And about silence within architectural composition. (http://www.davidhealdphotographs.com/aos.cfm) Maybe christian monasteries come close. Perhaps, you have some thoughts on this?

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  4. Tom Turner Post author

    Siegfried Giedion (in Space, Time & Architecture) argued that good architecture is about the design of space, not the objects which enclose the space. Or did he say it was as much about the design of space as about the design of objects? I forget but one could well argue that music is as much about the ‘design of silence’ as about the ‘design of sound’.
    By the way, there is a Music Garden in Toronto: http://www.gardenvisit.com/garden/music_garden and I wish landscape architects and garden designers took more interest in the musical analogy with spatial design.
    If architecture is frozen music, as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe remarked, then landscape architecture is live music!

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