Today my wife and I (and Millie the dog obvs.) went down to Seaham, a small town near Sunderland in the North East of England, to see a statue that was made and placed there in 2014. It is made of iron, more than double life size, and depicts a seated First World War soldier, head bowed, hand holding his rifle. I think that it is wonderful. The detail is remarkable and the skill of its maker is, to my mind, awe inspiring.
Not far up the road (about ten miles) stands the Angel of the North. Another piece of public art which I find inspiring.
It seems that in this part of the world we are fairly lucky in this respect. my wife, being an artist and all, got to musing about the impetus for public art. Tommy had originally been intended as a six month installation before being sold, but local people and the council raised the funding necessary to buy it and make it permanent. So do communities need public art or is it just a nice optional extra? Can anyone recommend any other public art that they feel is deserving of notice? Tommy cost little in terms of public funding as much of the money was raised privately; but is public expenditure on art a legitimate use of tax money?