Detail View: SHIMMER: Walking Man

Walking Man
Creation Date: 
Image Date: 
20th century
Sheffield, South Yorkshire
Display Creator: 
Image ID: 
Front view of the sculpture. Location: Until May 1998 it could be found on the entrance steps of the Town Hall extension, poorly sited in a dark space between the arches supporting the first floor of the building. From 9th May to 26th July 1998 it was on show as part of a major exhibition of Fullard's work at the Mappin Art Gallery, Weston Park. [Update: 2002] The piece was re-sited striding across the paving of the terrace of Leader House on Surrey Street, overlooking Sheffield Hallam University. A curious site, almost completely hidden from view for walkers on Arundel Way, completely obscured from passers-by on Surrey Street, and at the least used entrance to the Millennium Gallery and almost invisible to gallery visitors. It was as if the city was frightened to show the piece in public; bizarre when you consider how popular a piece of sculpture the Walking Man used to be. [Update: 2005] The Walking Man has been moved to the exterior of the Winter Gardens facing Tudor Square. A much more public and appropriate space for him to frequent. Description: The figure is of a walking man. He is slightly less than life size and wears a tightly buttoned coat; the collar is open and turned up. The man's stride swings his full length coat slightly forward while the backward tilt of his upper body creates a counter motion. The man's hands are not clearly defined, but his bare head is distinctive, being sharply featured and set on a long neck. He was often variously seen with a cigarette stuck between his lips, a beer tucked can under his arm, or a traffic cone placed on his head; all apparantly irresistable additions from late night revellers. Commission: The original plaster was bought by Sheffield City Council Arts Department in 1983 and cast into bronze in 1985. A cement fondu version of the piece was made in 1957 and first shown in an exhibition entitled 'Looking at People' at the South London Art Gallery the same year. Comment: The siting acknowledges a famous native son of Sheffield. Brief biographical details were given on a plaque on the pedestal, which read: " WALKING MAN / 1957. Bronze by / GEORGE FULLARD / Born 11 Hazel Road, Darnall in 1923 / Studied Sheffield College of Art 1938-42 / Served in the 17th/21st Lancers 1942-44 Seriously wounded / in the Battle of Cassino 19th May 1944 / Studied at the Royal College of Art, London 1945-47 / Died 1973 / Sheffield City Arts Department " We hope that the plaque will also be restored at the new site, this has not yet happened.
© Sheffield Hallam University
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Photographed by: 
Simon Quinn
Creator Dates - Born: 
Creator Dates - Died: 
Creator Role: 
Sculptor. Ex-student at Sheffield School of Art.
Culture Gender: 
Subject Heading: 
Public art -- England -- Sheffield
Subject Heading: 
Sculpture -- England -- Sheffield
Subject Heading: 
Sculpture, British -- 1900-2000
Subject Heading: 
Subject Heading: 
Urban renewal -- England -- Sheffield
Subject Heading: 
Tourism and art