John O'Flynn - Artist

John O'Flynn - Artist

Hyde Park Corner Sculpture

Here are three views of the soldier at Hyde Park Corner -  plus tow associated ones. The main figure is a horse-handler, with a whip and tackle. Brooding, sodden, laden, in a fatigued – or is it a “crucifiction” – posture?
 
This figure fascinates me and I have gone back to sketch it several times. It’s his ambiguity, I think…while he is taking rest the reference to the Crucifiction is unmistakable. There’s a lot of interpretative & empathetic detail: he has a whip in one hand, and horse tackle hangs at his other side. His heavy shin guards and rain-cape hint at the conditions he laboured in. But most of all his hidden brooding downcast head prompt us to ask what is he thinking- for he is, momentarily, on the battlefield, apparently lost in deep thought. And we follow him into contemplating…. what it was to be a soldier in WW1 …and perhaps what is it to be soldier today…..

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