21 August 2017

Cardiff art: ‘People Like Us’

This is one of my favourite public artworks in Cardiff

It stands in one of the busiest areas of Cardiff Bay, amidst the cafes, restaurants and bars of Mermaid Quay, so I had to wait for a cold winter morning to get the photo, at right, with no people around.

The sculpture, called ‘People Like Us’ (‘Pobl Fel Ni’ in Welsh), is aptly named, as it certainly attracts people: they insinuate themselves amongst the figures for photos, lean next to the man as if engaging him in conversation, and children pat the dog as if it’s a favourite household pet.

‘People Like Us’ is a life-size bronze artwork by English sculptor John Clinch (1934 - 2001), whose intention was ‘to make something that somehow ‘gave a voice”’ to the diverse cultural and ethnic mix of people who have always lived and worked in the dockland area of Cardiff.

If the body structure of the male in this sculpture looks familiar, it’s because John Clinch also designed ‘From Pit To Port’, a sculpture celebrating Cardiff’s mining heritage that featured in a previous blog post here.

‘People Like Us’ is a much more personable sculpture I think, one that people can easily relate to, one that conveys a sense of rest and relaxation – the woman with her shoe off is a delightful touch.

I think John Clinch would be very pleased with how well his work is appreciated by those who visit Cardiff Bay.