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Brussels: statues and model buildings

Back to one of my favourite cities, Brussels, last weekend. Very underrated as northern European cities go, I've hardly ever met anyone who's been there though of course everyone goes to Paris - and Brussels is even nearer on the Eurostar.
As usual, I found masses to photograph and decided to divide it into two posts so this week it's sculpture and architecture and in a couple of weeks time - brasseries and pet shops!

Just next to the beautiful Sablon Square there's a little park encircled by a set of wonderful statues, all perched high up on plinths and gazing out of the park on to the surrounding street and houses opposite. I photographed some of them for my Brussels and Antwerp post in June but this time I went into the park and photographed them from behind and silhouetted against the bright winter sky.

Next to sculpture, my other passion is architecture ( as my blog frequenters will know!) - in various manifestations, including as represented in scaled down form - either as architectural models or stylized versions like mini chalets (see those posts).
So imagine my delight when I turned a corner and happened on the huge vitrine of an architecture school, displaying students' model buildings.

The statues were commissioned to commemorate the various trades and guilds of the city so all of them are carrying appropriate accessories (visible in some shots) It's the representation of costume and objects in figurative sculpture which particularly interests me and is what I am exploring in my own work - the busts and friezes.

The models -presumably made by various students -were displayed together to create a vast urban conurbation.

They do seem like real characters - I like the way they still inhabit the city which continues to live and evolve around them throughout their century-old existence in it.

The plinths are very high so the statues lurk spookily among the tree tops and at the perfect vantage point to peer into the apartments opposite.

Architecture, when represented as small models, becomes very sculptural visually, I suppose because you can see the building in it entirety and perceive it simply as an abstract geometrical form.

Love the balconies!

By photographing the models close up and more or less at eye level the 'city' becomes almost a real place

Some of the designs are pretty cool -these apartments for example

I love the relaxed stance of some of the statues - they look happy to just continue hanging out for - well, forever!

More Brussels in two weeks time with some fantastic traditional brasserie interiors and the crazy pet shop belonging to a friend where I had lots of fun creating Christmas window displays!

See my post on Brussels and Antwerp for more Belgian art, architecture and design.


  1. The first image is lovely, and I'm really admiring the models - great find.

  2. Strong images! Very interesting!




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