Thursday, 28 November 2013



So it's inevitable that the mosaic memorial we re-created early this year in Digbeth, Birmingham has again received the attention of the press.

Most journalists, I am pleased to say, see the memorial's return to the city as a positive move, but there has been one true pedant who is querying the dates on the left hand legend panel.

So to make clear, this work is a faithful facsimile of the original work made by my father Kenneth in 1967/8 and at the time the dates of Kennedy's presidency were cut in stone to flank the original mosaic work.  They read 1960 - 3.  

When a party win the election here we naturally consider that moment of winning as the moment that party becomes government and that person becomes leader.  Technically Kennedy was not inaugurated until 1961 but he did win the vote to be president in 1960.

It is also the common opinion, promoted by websites such as Wikipedia (who have my dads birthdate wrong), that the mosaic was taken down from its site in St Chads, then six years later re-located to the Digbeth site, as in "put back together"

This was not the case.  The original work was disassembled and a few key portraits were stored in my studio, where they remain today.

The original Smalti mosaic material had been so "etched" by the wind-borne dusts of the city over its forty years in St Chads, that the material had become compromised and was not fit for re-siting. We also retained the original carved quartzite lettering panels that "bookended" the original.  The new mosaic was re-made by me in its entirety using dads original full scale drawings.

Still, lucky I kept those lettering panels as I was able to dig them out earlier this week to confirm those pesky dates!!

Here they are for you to view.

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