Friday, 19 June 2015

Public Art: The Mexico Disaster & Les Dawson

Art Circle spent an interesting morning comparing two statues of men placed within a 5 minute walk of each other on St Annes' sea front. 

Appearance, resemblance, sensibilities, scale, material, process, historical & social context, location & setting were discussed and how successful or otherwise the pieces worked.

Inevitably the statue of Eric Morecambe, in Morecambe was brought into the discussion too.  


The consensus of opinion was the statue of The Mexico Disaster was a moving memorial to all who lost their lives and their families.  The scale and orientation of the piece, looking out to see, was perfect.  We felt it was unfortunate that modern public toilets were the backdrop to the statue but from the promenade where banks and shrubs masked them the statue work beautifully.

Les Dawson however, seemed lost and disconnected to his surroundings both historically and visually.  Inadvertently his legs were tied together by the string holding artificial flowers on his feet.  His gaze was to the flats on the other side of the road amplifying the impression that he didn't want to be there.


Our task was to consider how we might improve the site of Les Dawson's statue.  

We decided either improve the setting by; 

  • including more show business aspects to the garden using the west wall (statues, busts of other popular acts & murals) although this was discounted as being more appropriate to Blackpool
  • adopt one of the shelters as "The Les Dawson Pavilion" 
  • add a piano
  • include benches in front of the statue to enable viewers to become an audience
  • widen the plinth to enable easier photo opportunities and allow impromptu performances by visitors
  • insert some of his jokes into the paths (similar to Blackpool's Comedy Carpet)
  • plant appropriate plants in the bed in front of him rather than attach artificial flowers
or... move him to Blackpool.

I said to the chemist, 'Can I have some sleeping pills for the wife?' He said, 'Why?' I said, 'She keeps waking up. 

more jokes

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