Southwark's Own Memorial by Sculptor Kenny Hunter

7 Dec 2021

Standing North of the Old Town Hall, in Walworth Square, is the Southwark war memorial by award-winning, Edinburgh born sculptor Kenny Hunter.

Standing North of the Old Town Hall, in Walworth Square, is a memorial sculpture by an award-winning, Edinburgh born sculptor.

The Kenny Hunter Memorial, made of bronze, depicts a boy standing upon a tree trunk and features an inscription from late Scottish Poet, Hamish Henderson: “Against the armour of the storm I’ll hold my human barrier”. Henderson himself was a soldier in WWI and a peace activist. The line comes from his poem, Elegies for the Dead in Cyrenaica.

The sculptor himself hopes the Southwark memorial expresses human endurance and the persistence to keep going in difficult and traumatic circumstances.

The addition of the memorial to Elephant & Castle’s Walworth Square creates a place for the public to reflect, particularly on themes of war and conflict.

The sculpture’s location is apt in itself, given that the Old Town Hall survived its own traumatic circumstances after a fire swept through and heavily damaged the Grade II listed building in March 2013. It took 120 firefighters and 20 fire engines to tackle the blaze. The building suffered significant damage and the old council chamber was completely destroyed.

Hunter’s body of work primarily concerns itself with evoking remembrance in modern society. He is known for a flawless finish, regardless of material (he regularly works with bronze, iron, plastic, and wood).  With sculptures across the UK and Europe, you will also find another few of his sculptures right here in London. I Goat can be found in Bishops Square, Spitalfields whilst his series of sculptures entitled Blackbird: The Persistence of Vision can be viewed attached to a certain building in Leicester Square.

To get to the Kenny Hunter Memorial from Elephant Park, walk straight up Walworth Road, pass Mercato Metropolitano and you’ll find the square behind the old Town Hall.