Happy New Year!
I was especially drawn to the Osman project, because I have been working, with the poet Tilla Brading, on a long sequence relating to Neolithic stone monuments on Exmoor (‘Stone settings’). There is debate about whether some of these, particularly the longstones, are memorials, but it also raised the whole issue of types of memorials, whether ancient or modern, and the more recent examples of these, which have also become part of the sequence. They include WW2 memorials on Exmoor, as well as my own ‘longstone’ texts of the Iraq war.
Has anyone raised the issue of female figurative statues and their significance? It is, of course, simply an aspect of the extent to which women occupy public space in general.
I was thinking about it last year when we had an invasion of the Anthony Gormleys at the South Bank (and beyond) - the English sculptor who is best known for sculptures which are slightly abstracted versions of his own body.
Some of the, comparatively rare, statues of women are of British queens. On the subject of women as public figures, and rulers, the derivation of the words for king and queen are very revealing.
Cyning= king = cunning ruler
Cwen = queen = wife of king
(The Lioness roared: the problems of female rule in English history, Charles Beem, Palgrave MacMillan, 2006)
All best wishes