Stoke-on-Trent - photo of the week


contents: 2012 photos


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Hanley Girl - sculpture at the National Westminster Bank, Hanley

  • Sculptor: Walter Ritchie

  • Installed: 1976

The bank left the choice of design entirely to Walter Ritchie, who obtained the commission through the Bank's building surveyor.

Like many of his other works, the sculpture features elements of local significance within the Potteries. Apart from the pottery kilns formerly common throughout the area, the dog walked by the young girl is a Staffordshire breed.

  • Walter Ritchie (1919 12 February 1997) was a British sculptor who had been one of the last living apprentices of Eric Gill at Piggotts after the Second World War. Many of his public works were in brick relief, and have suffered loss from building redevelopment.

 

 

Brick sculpture by Walter Ritchie - at the top of the escalator in the Nat West Bank, Hanley
Brick sculpture by Walter Ritchie - at the top of the escalator in the Nat West Bank, Hanley 

The scene depicted shows a female figure walking her dog against a background of pottery kilns and birds. 

The girl is shown in profile, her long hair swirling around her face and shoulders, she leans back to restrain and counterbalance the dog, a Staffordshire bull terrier, who strains at his leash, his front paws off the ground.

The style is naturalistic and figurative, the relief is carved with predominating rounded contours which contrast with areas of sharp delineation, for example in the stylised face and left hand of the girl, and the leading profile of the dog. 

The brick has been partially pre-moulded leaving a smooth surface on highlighted areas, and partially chiselled in others leaving markings more commonly associated with stone masonry.

 

 


 

detail of the brick texture on the bottle kiln and the birds
detail of the brick texture on the bottle kiln and the birds 

The brick has been partially pre-moulded leaving a smooth surface on highlighted areas, and partially chiselled in others leaving markings more commonly associated with stone masonry.

 

 

The female figure is walking her dog against a background of pottery kilns and birds.
The female figure is walking her dog against a background of pottery kilns and birds. 

The girl is shown in profile, her long hair swirling around her face and shoulders, she leans back to restrain and counterbalance the dog.

 

 

The dog, a Staffordshire bull terrier, strains at his leash, his front paws off the ground.
The dog, a Staffordshire bull terrier, strains at his leash, his front paws off the ground.

The style is naturalistic and figurative, the relief is carved with predominating rounded contours which contrast with areas of sharp delineation, for example in the stylised face and left hand of the girl, and the leading profile of the dog. 

The brick has been partially pre-moulded leaving a smooth surface on highlighted areas, and partially chiselled in others leaving markings more commonly associated with stone masonry.

 


 

National Westminster Bank, Market Square, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent
National Westminster Bank, Market Square, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent
Architects: Wood, Goldstraw and Yorath

 


 

 


contents: 2012 photos

 

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Public Sculpture and art in Stoke-on-Trent