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Latitude: 51.9016 / 51°54'5"N
Longitude: -0.2021 / 0°12'7"W
OS Eastings: 523795
OS Northings: 224091
OS Grid: TL237240
Mapcode National: GBR J7W.PQT
Mapcode Global: VHGP0.GG1K
Entry Name: Joy Ride
Listing Date: 15 April 1998
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1031588
English Heritage Legacy ID: 469097
Location: Stevenage, Hertfordshire, SG1
Electoral Ward/Division: Bedwell
Built-Up Area: Stevenage
Traditional County: Hertfordshire
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hertfordshire
Church of England Parish: Stevenage St Andrew and St George
Church of England Diocese: St.Albans
TL2324 STEVENAGE CENTRAL SQUARE
Sculpture. 1958-9 by Franta Belsky. Bronze mother and child on circular stone plinth, the mother carrying her little boy on her back. The mother figure is remarkable for the integration of her dress and skin as a single, tensile form.
Franta Belsky (1921- ) came to Britain in 1938 from Bmo, Czechoslovakia, and combined studies at the Royal College of Art with military service. Although today as well known as a portraitist as for his public sculpture, it was with 'Joy-ride' and the slightly earlier 'Lesson' (LB Tower Hamlets, 1956) that he achieved maturity. He was commissioned by Stevenage Development Corporation to produce something symbolic for a recently created New Town, the Corporation having been inspired by the use of symbolic sculpture in the rebuilding of bombed Rotterdam. The figures are thus symbolic of the arrival of a new generation in a New Town. The vertical composition with its high centre of interest is a response to its setting on top of a platform with stairs and railings to either side, and a carefully preserved group of trees below. It is amongst his most distinctive works, specifically designed for a distinguished location.
(Franta Belsky: Sculpture: Prague and London: -1922).
Listing NGR: TL2379524091
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