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Radical designs for Mary Seacole memorial at St Thomas' now on show

Proposals for a memorial to the Jamaican-born Crimean war nurse intended to be installed in the grounds of St Thomas' Hospital have gone on display in The Strand.

Etienne Millner
Etienne Millner
George Kelly
George Kelly
Bill Woodrow
Bill Woodrow
Georgia Boyd Russell
Georgia Boyd Russell
Joy Gregory
Joy Gregory
Martin Jennings
Martin Jennings
Maurice Blik
Maurice Blik
Susan Stockwell
Susan Stockwell

The Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal was set up to create a permanent memorial to the Jamaican-born nurse who came to prominence for her role caring for soliders in the Crimean War.

Last December the appeal organisers announced the shortlist of eight artists who were invited to submit designs for the memorial to be sited in the grounds of St Thomas' Hospital overlooking the Houses of Parliament.

This week the eight shortlisted designs have been put on public display in the windows of Coutts and Co in The Strand.

The proposals include an equestrian statue by Etienne Milner who says that “I believe local people will relate most strongly to a naturalistic image.

“I am attempting to show her as a courageous woman, not afraid to cause a stir, flamboyant even. But humanitarian first and foremost.”

Maurice Blik, meanwhile, proposes a tall beacon to nursing: “Facing east into the sunrise, she welcomes each day and arms outstretched in an inviting gesture, she engages patients and visitors with a benevolent gaze.”

Bill Woodrow takes a more abstract approach with an assembly of double cone shapes representing Mary Seacole treating soldiers on the battlefield or central American cholera victims.

Baroness Amos, chair of the selection panel, will announce the chosen design next week.

The designs are on display in the windows of Coutts Co until Tuesday 12 May.

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