New to the Art in the Park series:
As if by magic on Yorkshire Day, a statue of Peter Pan has appeared in Bradford’s Lister Park as a gift from philanthropist Sir Trevor Pears.
The present cast is one of an edition of only eight full-scale versions made by the celebrated Morris Singer Foundry for the Fine Art Society from a bronze in Sefton Park, Liverpool.
The original, placed in London’s Kensington Gardens, was produced by renowned artist George James Frampton in 1912 in which the popular JM Barrie character is lifted up on a swirling rock populated by fairies, rabbits, squirrels and mice.
He raises his pipe to his mouth and plays to the spirits of the children who play in the park.
Other models and casts of the monument are to be found as far afield as Brussels, New Jersey, Toronto and Perth, Australia. Parts of the original plaster model are in the Victoria and Albert Museum.
The Council was offered the work of art by Sir Trevor Pears to put on public display for the benefit of everyone in the district.
Sir Trevor is Executive Chair of Pears Foundation which promotes understanding of key issues through research and education programmes; drives engagement in social progress across the UK and globally, particularly in young people, and supports organisations focused on wellbeing for everyone.
During the present health emergency, parks’ staff have introduced a one-way system for people to view the new statue while maintaining recommended social distancing.
Cllr Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Healthy People and Places, said: “This is a wonderful piece of art and we are very grateful to have been gifted it.
It is really appropriate to have a statue of Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up, on display in one of the youngest cities in Britain.
Sir Trevor Pears, Executive Chair of Pears Foundation, said: “I bought this wonderful statue of Peter Pan with the intention of continuing the philanthropic tradition started by JM Barrie in 1912, and in the hope that this particular version would find a home in Lister Park.
“I have been a frequent visitor to Bradford over the past twenty years. The warm welcome I’ve always experienced has led to my developing a deep affection for the city.
“It’s an absolute pleasure to be able to express this with a Yorkshire Day gift of a statue that’s image has given so much joy for over a hundred years.
“I hope very much that this particular Peter Pan will evoke similar joy for all the young, and young at heart, who visit this beautiful park over the next hundred years!’’
Stroll around Lister Park to view sculpture and public artwork, some on loan by the artists, others from Bradford’s own collections. See Bingley based artist Marcus Levine’s steel clout nail sculpture ‘Hung Out to Dry’ and family favourite, fibre glass ‘Hochlandbew’ by Otmar Alt.
Pick up the trail leaflet at reception to guide you or print off from here.
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