Joy for campaigners as council confirms replacement artwork plan for square

Campaigners are hoping an artwork by Frank Dobson will return to this plinth in Bethnal Green

Campaigners are hoping an artwork by Frank Dobson will return to this plinth in Bethnal Green - Credit: Bring Back Our Statue

Campaigners have hailed plans by Tower Hamlets Council to re-install work by a well-known artist in Bethnal Green.

Frank Dobson Square, which sits near the junction of Cambridge Heath Road and Cephas Street, was formed in the 1960s in homage to the sculptor.

It was home to the Woman and Fish piece, but the statue was removed in 2002 after being repeatedly vandalised.

The Bring Back Our Statue campaign group has been calling for an artwork by Dobson to return to the square since 2016.

There is currently an empty plinth where Woman and Fish once stood.

One of the group's leaders Tara Staunton told the Advertiser she felt the square had looked "terrible" after the statue was removed.

"Since the square was built to honour the artist Frank Dobson, it is important to have a piece of his artwork, or at least a recreation, there.

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"It's also important that the statue is a female figure - there are not enough representations of women in the public sphere.

"The abstract female figures created by Dobson helped pioneer modern British sculpture."

She hopes to see a version of Woman and Fish return to the square.

"I can’t wait to see a statue back on that empty plinth for all local people and passers-by to enjoy."

Fellow group leader Richard Kirker added: “It will be a great victory for local people when Frank Dobson Square finally gets its Frank Dobson back."

A Tower Hamlets Council spokesperson confirmed that refurbishment of the square is being considered as part of the Local Infrastructure Fund programme.

This would include "potential improvements to the public realm and provision of public art".

They added: "We are actively exploring design solutions for Frank Dobson Square with the intention of including replacement art by the artist, subject to community consultation.”