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Saint Helier

Liberation Square

Jersey Liberation Sculpture

Philip Jackson
Singer / Morris Singer / William Morris (London)
1995

Saint Helier /  Jersey Liberation Sculpture   Saint Helier /  Jersey Liberation Sculpture

Description

Sculpture group showing "a group of Islanders in two distinct groups releasing a flag, with a single figure – the liberator – subtly dressed in army fatigues. While the adults express complex and deeper feelings of relief, reflection and expectation of better days to come, a child shows the obvious joy of the immediate occasion. Above them billows the flag, drawing the viewer's eye upwards. The central figures, with their arms outstretched, form a substantial but eloquent victory arch through which people can walk while viewing the sculpture at close quarters" (Downie).

Saint Helier - Jersey Liberation Sculpture Saint Helier - Jersey Liberation Sculpture

Inscription(s)

At this place on 9th May, 1945,
advance parties from the Royal Navy
and the British Army liberated Jersey
from nearly five years of occupation
by German forces. They and the return
of the British flag were greeted by
thousands of Islanders with intense relief,
joy and gratitude.

On the 50th Anniversary of that day,
the States and people of Jersey dedicate
this new Liberation square to commemorate
that historic event and all those whose
efforts and sacrifices made it possible.

This Sculpture by Philip Jackson F.R.S.S.
was commissioned by the Jersey Public
Sculpture Trust and unveiled by His
Royal Highness The Prince of Wales
on 9th May 1995.

Information Sign

at this place on the 9th may 1945, advanced parties from the royal navy and
the british army liberated jersey from nearly five years of occupation
by the german forces. they and the return of the british flag were
greeted by thousands of islanders with relie, joy and gratitude.

on the 50th anniversary of that day, the states and people of jersey
dedicate this liberation square to commemoratie that historic event
and all those whose efforts and sacrifices made this possible.

the sculpture by philip jackson frbs was commissioned by the jersey
public sculpture trust and unveiled by his royal highness
the prince of wales on 9th may 1995.

— —

the design of the square includes a significant degree of symbolism
which can be explained as follows-

each circle has a function relating to the sculpture;
the fountain; the compass; the flagpoles and the
time capsule.

the circular and curvelinear forms represent
free thought and liberation.

the plinth of the sculpture represents the island;
the sculpture represents the people; the moat
represents the sea and the twelve fountaints
represent the parishes of the island.

the compass rose signifies that jersey is part of
a larger global community. whilst rejoicing in its
own liberation in 1945 and peace during the
subsequent 50 years, jersey looks outward in the
hope that the peace and freedom which it enjoys
will one day extend throughout the world.

Annotation

From Theislandwiki:

The Liberation Sculpture, which forms the centrepiece of a new square created on St Helier's waterfront to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Liberation in 1995, was certainly the most important, and probably the most controversial work of public art erected in Jersey in the 20th Century. The 150,000 design changed radically in response to fierce public criticism.

When the design was first revealed by the Occupation and Liberation Committee of the States of Jersey, public opinion was generally one of astonishment that a line of figures were shown releasing a number of doves of peace. The Committee explained that they had decided to change the brief to commemorate 50 years of peace, but islanders had been anticipating a sculpture to represent 50 years since the Liberation and many remarked that if any doves had been around at the end of the Occupation, they would probably have been caught and eaten by the hungry population, rather than released.

Many commented that there was no recognition of the military aspect of the Occupation and a subtle serviceman in battledress and boots was added to the group. The original design did not allow interaction, but the revised version allowed members of the public to walk through and join the figures. The artist, Philip Jackson, revealed that his original idea had been to have the figures waving a flag - much more in tune with the public's understanding of the experience of Liberation - but the Committee had decided to change the brief to one of "peace", and so a dove motif had been introduced. Much to the relief of all concerned the revised design incorporated a giant Union Flag.

Saint Helier - Jersey Liberation Sculpture

Sculptor

Sources & Information

Tags

Location (N 49°10'57" - W 2°6'33")

Item Code: je04; Photograph: 2 August 2015
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