Brtualism

I don’t have much reason to go into the central Manchester Post Office but today was one of those days. It is busy and an unusual mix of humanity - mainly people with a desire to send oddly shaped items to various destinations.

The queue was long but the series of brutalist sculptures above all the counters proved to be an interesting diversion. There is something about this type of concrete art that makes imagining a “Judge Dredd” type world seem very possible. 

The curiosity of this art is that it is so permanent and a feature of so many 1950s/1960s governmental style buildings in the UK yet so often obscured by more temporary styling that ages rapidly both in terms of the style they express and the quality of the materials used.

These works also beg a range of questions. Who made these? Creating a concrete work is a significant task - we’re talking heavy and some fairly specialist equipment. Were these produced by artists or builders (and if it was the latter does this make them artists?)? Were these symbols intended to have meaning or are they entirely abstract (and then doesn’t that mean that they still have meaning?)?