Urban Being by Marco Cianfanelli

This month has seen me head abroad to complete that most gap year of pursuits, volunteering in Africa. My experience has not involved me teaching English to small children off the grid though but a rescue mission for my poor Dad who was sideswiped by a lorry while out cycling a couple of weeks ago. 

Whilst out here I have been determined to try and keep up my fitness so have been chucking some weights around at the gym near my Dad’s offices.

Standing outside, looking rather out of place on a mini roundabout, is the imposing statue ‘Urban Being’ by Marco Cianfanelli. Checking in at nearly 12 metres tall and weighing 8 tons it is certainly easy to spot. I’d passed it a few times on my trips in but today the sky made the perfect backdrop for a photo.

The construction has been there since 2010 and is made of rusted steel. I’d been told it was of Nelson Mandela but it seems it is officially of a ‘man in suit’ so quite a broad spectrum of potential inspiration!

For such a big structure what I loved was some of the more subtle elements.

If you zoom in below you will see two things:

  1. Some of the panels were painted which prevented them rusting. This adds some really delicate flecks of colour amongst the large rusted panels of steel.
  2. There are a large number of smaller characters built into the statue. These are silhouettes of people going about their business, carrying briefcases, hailing taxis and making their way in to work

I really like how these were worked in forcing you to get up close to really take it in fully.

If you want to come and see for yourself will find ‘Urban Being’ just off Hilda Street in Hatfield.