Limited edition of 16
Archival reverse photographic print onto alumini
Signed & numbered by the artist
Unveiled in 1872, The Albert Memorial commemorates the death of Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s husband, who died of typhoid fever at the age of 42.
At a cost of over £10,000,000 in today’s terms the 54m high memorial has a huge gilt bronze statue of Albert in a seated position looking south towards the Royal Albert Hall.
The ornate canopy, in the style of a Gothic ciborium, has marble figures standing at each corner.
Thousands of people pass by the Prince Albert Memorial in London’s Kensington Gardens every day, yet few give more than a glance to the four statues standing at each corner. The corner statue representing Africa is featured in this piece of art by Kenny Laurenson.
The sculptor, William Theed, the son of the sculptor and painter William Theed the elder, specialised in portraiture, and his services were extensively used by the Royal Family.
Statues are not only beautiful but carry with them stories. Classical statues were in a sense the feature films, the blockbusters, of their day at a time when books and paintings were a rare luxury of the privileged. On display for all to see, the unveiling of statues were major events and word of mouth passed on for generations who would travel to cities to see these wonders.
The immortality of statues reflects our human aspirations. Today, although society have become oblivious to such statues they still retain a gravitas and eternal value. They may be taken for granted yet one would surely notice if they were removed. Could we ever dispose of them?.. I think not and that they are destined to become ever more valuable, yet around the world they stand ignored and exposed to the elements.
Kenny Laurenson’s fascination is also in their symbolism. Most statues are embedded with allegorical meaning whilst the story of their creation always plays an important part in the final rendition.
Kenny has embedded further depth into the final piece intending that they should be viewed from a distance, mid range or close up with entirely different effect.
Kenny Laurenson’s photomontage series ‘Statuesque’ expresses a long fascination with perception. “Statues in cities are so often almost invisible yet they depict powerful stories and characters from an era when visual information was so rare. Statues have gravity, beauty, craft and hold an eternal value, as symbolic of immortality as anything we create. I endeavour to bring them new context, new life, new perspective”. Kenny Laurenson takes a traditional dark room approach, a crafted ‘dodge and burn’ technique, utilising digital technology.