Last night, Philip Jackson was awarded the Marsh Award for Excellence in Public Sculpture for his sculpture at the heart of the Bomber Command Memorial in Green Park, London. Malcolm White, Chairman of the Bomber Command Association, collected the award on Philip's behalf. In this blog, Malcolm tells us more.
The Marsh Awards seeks to acknowledge excellence and to celebrate new work that demonstrates originality, aesthetic quality and sensitivity to its site and also increase awareness, which is exactly what Philip Jackson’s depiction of a Bomber Command crew returning from operations does.
When we first approached Philip, we wanted a figurative piece that would represent and do justice to those who died flying in Bomber Command during the Second World War.
The Memorial was already six decades late and to be successful it had to be appropriate and a fitting legacy to those 55,573 airmen who died.
Working extremely long hours and on a sensitive and complex project, not only did Philip deliver on time and on budget but he also interpreted the brief well; demonstrating empathy with those he sought to represent, and the story that had to be told.
Philip has delivered a beautifully crafted sculpture with a sensitivity that is beyond measure. I remember the day when I saw the first clay figure in Philip's studio; I was reduced to tears.
As an ex-airman I can relate to the posture and emotions of each and every one of the seven comrades, who while welded together in bronze are also joined by something far deeper. Philip refers to it as pathos. I agree.
Those who pass by the Memorial also seem to share the same feeling for Philip’s remarkable piece of work – work delivered by a sensitive, caring and skilled man; and a sculpture which will dominate London's cultural landscape for generations to come.
Under the RAF Benevolent Fund's guardianship it will continue to receive the care it deserves, so that the memory of those young men will not be forgotten.
Through the process I met a man who I admire and who I value as a friend. It was therefore a great privilege to accept the award on Philip's behalf. For more information or if you'd like to donate to the upkeep of the Memorial, please donate online today.
By Malcolm White