Sir Eduardo Paolozzi on Street View

Artist Sir Eduardo Paolozzi was a pioneer of pop art and one of Britain's greatest sculptors. Because of his importance, his works are frequently bought, sold, loaned, and - crucially - relocated. I went down a rabbit hole after trying to find Paolozzi's Wealth Of Nations out at the Gyle. It's now at RBS Gogarburn but not on Google Maps yet as it's only recently been moved. That makes it a little hard to verify it's current location. This got me thinking, are there any Paolozzi works on Google Street View? Well, the answer is yes - you can visit a whole bunch via my website here: Sir Eduardo Paolozzi on Street View.

If you know of an outdoor Paolozzi sculpture that's missing, you can submit it here.

Paolozzi is from Leith in Edinburgh and his works have brought joy to me in so many locations. His studio in the Modern Art Gallery in Edinburgh is a wonder, even before I realised that the entire gallery was, at one point, going to be dedicated to him (he downplayed the need for that but donated many pieces). Vulcan, also at the Modern Art Gallery, is what I think of when I think of modern art. Newton (or Newton After Blake) outside the British Library has captivated me when I've been in London. And then there's The Manuscript of Monte Cassino, which I've enjoyed looking at whilst passing through Greenside Place what must be approaching thousands of times. I recommend this BBC Scotland piece about Paolozzi to give a flavour of his pieces, their themes and his life.

What fascinates me about public art - huge, monstrously heavy pieces of steel, aluminium, concrete or bronze out there in the public domain - is that these works sometimes just vanish. Bought up, sold, traded, misplaced, damaged, relocated, etc. Sometimes for good reason, sometimes not so much. There's a fantastic podcast covering some of this topic from Ruxandra Bageac at Edinburgh Uni. Restoration and preservation of pieces is important. But buildings get renovated, knocked down or changed in purpose, and sometimes the works that are in, on, or around them go walkabout. It's not a new thing - for another local example, a huge cast iron drinking fountain in Leith was lost during railway works around 1900 and was seen at the time as another example Leith being disrespected. And I feel like Paolozzi might just be being a little overlooked at the moment. Sir Eduardo Paolozzi has no blue plaques on any of his homes or workshops in England. There are no public sculptures by him in his hometown of Leith (although there is a dilapidated mural on a derelict shopfront). Many of Paolozzi's commercial and public pieces are no longer available for public view. As far as I can see from my brief research and reading, a few have been lost. I had some inspiration to do this from a project tracking The Great Wave (read more here). Hopefully, my little project goes a little way to sharing these important pieces.