Poems for May 2018: Corgis in Christchurch, New Zealand; 2 Poems, Facts about the Sculptures, Corgis and Bronze
Three Bronze Corgis
I love sculpture and have written a few poems based on various pieces I’ve seen on my travels.
Below is a wonderful example. These corgis are in the centre of Christchurch, New Zealand, and provide amusement for all. As they are fun-loving dogs, I thought I’d take a light-hearted approach to them.
The second poem requires being read in the Queen’s English, with a posh accent, just like hers!
To accompany the poems are a few facts about how these creatures came to be, as well as a little about bronze sculpture and a couple of my favourite sculptors.
Well I’m off, I need a walk,
I’ve had enough of all this talk.
What’s she staring at? Me, I s’pose,
she’s the one who pokes her nose
in everyone’s business, just to see
if there’s anywhere better to be.
As for him, he sticks his nose
into fallen ice cream cones!
What’s the point? You can’t eat that,
someone else’s dirty tat.
Am I the only sensible one?
Guess I’ll go and have some fun.
I’ve stood around here far too long,
it’s time to sing another song.
Maybe the Queen fancies a stroll,
maybe she’ll give me a chocolate roll!
Where's it Gone?
One’s corgis are one’s favourites,
one’s had them down the ages.
I won’t go far without them,
they make me smile, such fun!
Oh, look! He’s sniffing that ice cream,
I hope he doesn’t eat it;
such bad manners affect one’s image,
it really isn’t done.
So sweet of them to celebrate
one’s fifty years of monarchy
with little fat bronze doggies
that, like mine, can’t run.
Well, orf we go now, come along,
I think it’s time for walkies.
I’ve had enough of shaking hands.
Now where’s that Philip gone?
Three Corgis sculpted by David Marshall
These life-sized corgis were first installed in 2003 to mark the Queen's golden jubilee, at a cost of $8000 each.
One corgi was stolen shortly after the February 2011 earthquake and the Christchurch City Council removed the remaining two for safe-keeping.
David Marshall made another bronze corgi from scratch, to replace the one stolen, and the trio were reinstated on the footpath of the High Street in June 2014.
Mr Marshall remarked, ”I'm pleased they've gone back where they were. These guys are just going . . . back to business.”
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Some facts about Welsh Corgis
- known as Pembrokeshire or Cardigan Corgis, both areas being agricultural areas of Wales.
- historically used as herding dogs, particularly for cattle.
- referred to as ‘heelers’, as they would nip the heels of larger animals to keep them moving, though could avoid the hooves of cattle due to their low height and innate agility.
- known to have a fun loving personality.
- eager to please, easily trained and intelligent.
- (the Pembrokeshire) possibly descendants of dogs from Flemish weavers around the 10th century.
- (the Cardigan) from dogs brought over with Norse settlers, particularly an ancestor of the Swedish ‘Vallhund’.
The meaning of ‘Corgi’ comes from ‘cor’ dog or dwarf dog, ‘cor’ meaning dwarf, ‘gi’ instead of ‘ci’ meaning dog, in the Welsh language.
There is a charming folk legend that says Corgis were a gift from the woodland fairies, and that the breed's markings were left on its coat by fairy harnesses and saddles.
Why the association with Queen Elizabeth II?
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi became more popular due to the Queen’s strong attachment to the breed. They had longer bodies and thick coats of fur.
Princess Elizabeth and her sister Margaret visited Thomas Thynne, 5th Marquess of Bath, in 1933 and subsequently told their family how much they liked the corgis owned by the Marquess. So, for her 18th birthday in 1944, Princess Elizabeth was given a Pembroke Corgi named Susan, with which she developed a strong bond. It was even hidden under rugs in the Royal Carriage following the Princess’ wedding to Prince Philip.
All the Corgis owned by the Royal Household since are descendants of Susan, from whom ten generations have been bred.
The Queen has owned more than thirty of these dogs, either Pembrokes or Corgi-Dachshund crosses - known as ‘dorgis’!
Bronze in Sculpture
- is the most popular metal for cast metal sculptures, used for statues, singly or in groups, reliefs, small figurines.
- is used for bronze elements fitted in objects such as furniture.
- can be gilded to give gilt-bronze or ormolu.
Bronze alloys have the property of expanding slightly just before they set. This is unusual but beneficial as this means it can fill small details in a mould. As it cools, the bronze then shrinks and can be separated from the mould.
Therefore it has an advantage when creating figures in action, compared to the use of ceramic or stone. This advantage sadly becomes a disadvantage as far as the preservation of sculptures is concerned. Many ancient bronzes have been melted down for the creation of weapons in wartime, or to create new pieces. In contrast there are more ceramic and stone works that have survived, even though not always whole.
Sculptors of Bronze
There are many famous sculptors who used bronze. Two of my favourite British ones are classed within the modern era of sculpture and both come from Yorkshire, England.
Barbara Hepworth & Henry Moore
Barbara Hepworth, born in Wakefield in 1903 and died in 1975, was an English artist and sculptor. She was awarded the DBE (Dame of the British Empire) and her work is typical of Modernism. She was one of the few female artists of her generation to achieve international renown.
Henry Moore, born in Castleford in 1898 and died in 1986.
Henry Spencer Moore OM CH FBA was an English artist. He is best known for his semi-abstract monumental bronze sculptures which are located around the world as public works of art. He donated many to various British cities to be exhibited in public places.
It is no coincidence I favour these two artists, as they come from Yorkshire, as does my paternal family. Indeed Moore was born in the same town as my father who later came to admire Moore’s work. Dad had a great influence on my love of arts and writing. The sketch below was done by me when visiting the ‘Tate Britain’ gallery in London.
Tastes in Art
Whatever your taste and opinion regarding the Art world, it’s hard not to admire such artists and any who interpret what they see in their own way. We all have our favourites and they cover the gamut of media. In comes down to our perception of beauty, or interest, or of the subject’s place in our world.
Love of any type of art is subjective; it has to be as we all see and feel things in a different, though sometimes similar, way. Add to that the personal interpretation of the artist and you have such a mixture of emotions to work out and work with!
Are there any outstanding works of art where you live? I’d be interested to hear about them in the comments.
What is your favourite art form?
Do you prefer...
© 2018 Ann Carr