This past week has seen the displaying of three miniature bronze statues of Brian Clough in Nottingham’s Council House with people being offered a few days in which to appraise the different works and to help choose which will be finally commissioned.Three artists, Les Johnson from Hampshire, Keith Maddison from Northumberland and John McKenna hailing from Ayeshire are competing for the honour of portraying the ‘Master Manager’ and have created statues and busts of the great man.
Disappointingly, I’m somewhat let down by all three works. None of them actually represent a good likeness of Brian to my eye. Surely the first achievement of such a project is to make the stature actually look like the subject? The image below offers a prelude to the images and comments further:
The gallery then. Draw your own conclusions…
Johnson’s bust. Clough the Roman Emperor?
Johnson’s statue. Clough as a Tony Christie lookalike?
Maddison’s bust. Clough or celebrity Scouse bottle-washer, Kevin Woodford?
I offer little comment regarding this effort by McKenna apart from to say it’s just plain scary. The return of Freddie Krueger anyone?
In my humble opinion, and speaking purely as a member of the lay public and a football fan who was lucky enough to have experienced Clough’s greatest days in Nottingham, these works are just not suitable. They don’t capture the man’s likeness and nor to any great extent do they capture his soul and personality. If ever there was such an inadequate memorial to a well-loved figure I’d like to see it.
Sleep easy, Michelangelo.