Marie Stirling, Gunnersbury’s Marketing & Communications Manager, wrote to us as follows:
“I’m contacting you in regard to a wider consultation we are starting to potentially bring a memorial statue to Humanitarian Aid to Gunnersbury Park, which follows on from positive conversations we’ve had with both Ealing and Hounslow Councils about the project. In partnership with the Humanitarian Aid Memorial Committee and CAS *Consultancy, we have been working to bring the first permanent memorial to humanitarian workers. This will give relatives, friends and colleagues a dedicated place to gather and reflect on their loved ones’ sacrifices and celebrate their work.
At Gunnersbury we have an established Education and Outreach programme, which presents an ideal format for sharing the stories of the memorial and humanitarianism more widely with the local community.The long term ownership of and care for the memorial is a consideration for the Humanitarian Committee, which intends to gift the memorial to the Gunnersbury Estate alongside an endowment fund that can be held towards care and maintenance of the work for the years to come.
Artist Michael Landy, CBE RA has been commissioned for the project. Born in London in 1963, Landy is associated with the Young British Artists who rose to prominence in the late 1980s. He is known for the seminal work, Breakdown, 2001, in which he methodically catalogued and destroyed all of his possessions in a disused department store on Oxford Street. Landy was commissioned by Art on the Underground to develop Acts of Kindness, 2011. Landy is recognised as an internationally important artist and his proposal for the memorial enjoys the support of many luminaries in the British art world including those heading up The Design Museum, Artangel, The Henry Moore Institute and the former Head of Exhibitions at The British Council. Landy has developed the memorial design through collaboration with the Committee and CAS*C. His proposal is for a work of art that creates a space for people to walk around, through and become a part of. Siting the work at Gunnersbury (the site we are looking for is close to the Round Pond) offers an opportunity for us to host a memorial of tremendous resonance for local communities and an artwork of international importance, as Landy’s first permanent publicly-sited work. Additionally, the World Humanitarian Day memorial event held every August at Westminster Abbey would move to an annual event hosted by Gunnersbury Park, with a programme of linked events and outreach sharing the messages of humanitarian work and encouraging local people to learn more.
We’re in liaison with key stakeholders, including English Heritage, about the project and we would like to invite you all to a consultation at Gunnersbury Park Museum on Saturday 24 June, 2 – 3pm where you can discuss the plan for the statue further (tea and coffee will be provided). We will also be consulting the public over the next month as well to get their views on the project”.
When we first heard about it in 2022 the sculpture was likely to go to Manchester; we have also discovered that it was rejected by Kenwood several years ago. Here you can find a presentation made in 2019 to the Kenwood Landscape Forum.