Postmans Park – George Watts Memorial to Heroic Self-Sacrifice

Susan Hiller's Memorial

An exhibition of the work of Susan Hiller at Tate Britain runs until 15th May 2011.It’s an interesting show – having seen a lot of her work over the years, I still enjoy the experience of seeing the works again.
One in particular that grabbed my attention was ‘Memorial’ -an instalation from 1980-81 consisting of photographs, a park bench and a sound recording provided by the earphones laid on the bench.
I’d seen the work before many years ago – but last year while wandering around the backstreets by St. Paul’s Cathedral we came accross the original source for the work.
The Memorial to Heroic Self-Sacrifice

The Memorial to Heroic Self-Sacrifice

The Memorial to Heroic Self-Sacrifice was the idea of the Victorian artist George Watts.
The idea to commemorate heroic deeds of the ordinary people of London was quite novel at the time and Watts had a hard time convincing the people in power of its worth.To come accross the the monument by accident made a grey day interesting.
It’s quite moving reading the exploits of the unfortunate victims of their heroic deeds etched on the ceramic tiles. Especially when the area is empty and quiet.

Sarah Smith

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