CITIZEN FIREFIGHTER

WHERE IS IT? On the corner of Hope Street and Gordon Street, directly outside the entrance to the Grand Central Hotel

One of Glasgow’s more recent additions, Citizen Firefighter was sculptured in bronze by a famous graduate of the Glasgow School of Art, Kenny Hunter.



The artist himself had this to say about his work:


“Through the work's symbolism, Citizen Firefighter appears to rekindle the onlooker's reflexes when faced with a nineteenth-century public monument. It differs, however, by both the neutrality of its stance and by the prominence given to the breathing apparatus, which has a democratising effect on human identity. The generic or quotidian aspect of the figure is further accentuated by a reductive treatment of form, in which all naturalist or realist traits have been suppressed. Subtraction peels away pathos, creating enough critical distance to enable the viewer to consider the complex "charge" inherent in the way the subject is presented. In this way the meaning of the monument itself is left partially open, thus creating a space that can be reinvested by the onlooker. This in turn prompts us to come to terms with our own responsibility, not only as an onlooker, but also, more importantly, as a citizen.”

Hunter was commissioned by the Strathclyde Fire & Rescue, who wished it to be placed somewhere very public so citizens and tourists could admire this tribute to firefighters past and present. Speaking about Citizen Firefighter during its unveiling, a PR spokesperson for the SFR stated:


“The sculpture is for the communities we serve and should be seen by as many people as possible, not just the firefighters it represents.”

Born in Edinburgh, Hunter now lives and works in Glasgow, and has had solo exhibitions in both Scottish cities, as well as London, where he won the Spitalfields Sculpture Prize in 2010 with “I Goat.”



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