Figurehead For Docklands, Poplar dock, East London
Cast Iron and Welded Steel Sculpture – purchased by LDDC 1998
Anna made “Figurehead for Docklands” at The Enfield Foundry for an outdoor exhibition organised jointly by the University of East London and LDDC. Along with around 15 other pieces, the sculpture was on show at Tidal Basin, Royal Victoria Dock over the summer of 1995. Following this, the sculpture was purchased by LDDC for permanent display at the revitalised Poplar Dock.
The work was a response to the history of the Docks and it’s sea-going trade as well as to the renovation and re-use of the Docklands area. On trading ships of the past, the figurehead was meant to protect the merchants and sailors from the “spirits of the deep”. This image is used as a kind of sentinel for the new Docklands – cautious and protecting but also optimistic and challenging.
Its industrial flavour and its materials speak of Docklands’ trading history and of its modern re-development and relate particularly well to the dockside cranes at Royal Victoria and Poplar docks. The use of recycled materials in the work relates to the productive re-use of Docklands itself and as such is an appropriate symbol of renewal for the area.
The sculpture was installed at Poplar dock in March 1998, when landscaping for the area was also completed