The Sculpture ‘Marmite’ Question:

What do you love?

Andy Edwards, The Beatles, 2015 , bronze
Andy Edwards, The Beatles, 2015 , bronze. Pier Head, Liverpool (photo: Jonathan Baldock)

What do you hate?

Andy Edwards, The Beatles, 2015 , bronze
Andy Edwards, The Beatles, 2015 , bronze. Pier Head, Liverpool (photo: Jonathan Baldock)

Jonathan Baldock replies:

I’m a Beatles fan, but on first encounter I couldn’t see this as anything more than kitsch – a caricature of larger than life-size mannequins. As I stood looking at it, however, I started to think and feel other forces at work. I began to recognise the magic these lumps of cast bronze hold for the huge groups of people gathering around them. They were interacting with the bronze group, reminiscing and discussing The Beatles, and taking photos and selfies. Whilst so much public sculpture is ignored or falls into the role of some kind of background decoration, this sculpture performs its duty and allows the viewer to connect with The Beatles in Liverpool. It has become a shrine for Beatles’ fans, where they can come and worship these musical gods. This sculpture has made people smile – it has provoked discussion, and it has made a connection with the viewer. So I also love it for all these reasons – it has made me think and feel more than any other sculpture I have stumbled upon in Liverpool. The Beatles ticked both of 3rd Dimension’s boxes for me – I both love and loathe it in equal measure.

During February Jonathan Baldock was in residence at Bluecoat in Liverpool as part of his Freelands Lomax Ceramics Residency at Camden Arts Centre, London.