NS6064 : Graham Square - The Calf

taken 17 years ago, near to Glasgow, Great Britain

Graham Square - The Calf
Graham Square - The Calf
"Animals came from over the horizon
They belonged there & here
They were both mortal & immortal
Each lion was lion & Each ox was ox"

So runs the inscription at the base of this statue of a garlanded calf. It stands in a square that is enclosed on the west by an old stone facade with a new building behind it; the facade bears horned heads, namely, those of a bull and a ram: Link and Link (compare Link in Coatbridge).

To the north, another horned head, that of a bearded man, peers down beneath a clock face: Link

The south side of the square is open to the street (the Gallowgate), but a tower on the other side is painted with a black cattle skull and garland: Link

"The Calf" (1998-2000) is one of many public artworks sculpted by Kenny Hunter that are to be found in Glasgow and in surrounding areas; for other works by Kenny Hunter, see: Link

The inscription that runs around around the base was carved by J.B.Kemp, and is drawn from an anthropological text ("Why look at animals?") by John Berger.

The horned heads in carved stone nearby, and the tower with its skull and garland, are much older than this statue.

Taken together, these works give the place a strange sacrificial aura. This seems appropriate: immediately to the north of Graham Square there was formerly an abattoir; in turn, to the north of the abattoir was the cattle market.

Car auctions are now held in the site of the former cattle market. I have watched these take place, and was struck by just how closely they followed the format of the cattle auctions (the setting, too, was largely unchanged): each car was wheeled out in turn to the centre, to the spot where the cattle would have been presented. Interested onlookers would then come up en masse and hurriedly inspect the car from all sides, with some trying to examine the underside. Likewise, the proceedings were as fast-paced as when livestock were being auctioned: after only a minute or two of this general inspection, the bidding would begin.
Graham Square
The square contains a statue of a garlanded calf; the surrounding facades of old buildings feature architectural details on a similar theme.
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Grid Square
NS6064, 457 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
February 2003   (more nearby)
Thursday, 4 September, 2008
Geographical Context
City, Town centre 
Former (from Tags)
Place (from Tags)
Graham Square 
Near (from Tags)
Image Buckets ?
Sculptor (from Tags)
Kenny Hunter 
Sculpture   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 6066 6481 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:51.3771N 4:13.6575W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 6067 6481
View Direction
West-northwest (about 292 degrees)
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Other Tags
Public Artwork  Sculpture 

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