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City People

Artists Concept


This sculpture is situated in Foyle Street Urban Park, Derry, Northern Ireland, where it forms part of the perimeter wall. The project depicts the concept of 'City People'..or the 'Passing Crowd'..  expressed through a complex pattern of interlocking lines and  shapes carved in  high relief. The images are composed of highly stylised human and animal forms linked together in a visual 'osmosis! of steel and concrete.


In the context of its urban setting , the work is a shadow -play, integrating light and shade, reflecting the hard -edged cityscape of the surrounding environment. As an expression of  'City People', it depicts human context and individual identity reduced to  homogeneity. It is the anonymity of the passing crowd. The production of the faces, hair and clothing are flattened and smoothed to a simplicity of line and a repetition of elements, deliberately designed to reduce the human forms to their vernacular.


In this context, through the process of this particular design approach, which is inspired by my heritage in the intricate patterns of Celtic and Early Christian-  Romanesque Art, the inhabitants of the city are seen as contemporary 'units', losing their individuality and personal identity...but are still bound together by the commonality of their humanity and their sharing of this anonymous public  space. There is an indivisibility in their connectedness which ultimately forms a totality, which is the essence of the visual integration of my concept within  this particular urban context. Historically, the 'nameless' humanity moving endlessly through this space are, in the end, mere shadows upon the landscape


 My sculpture captures and holds these shadows for a brief period. 


Joan Smith








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