Richard I or a big squiggle? Nick Hornby unveils equine sculpture in the heart of Westminster

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The UK sculptor Nick Hornby is making his presence felt in London with three significant public commissions due to be unveiled in the capital this year. Friends and admirers gathered yesterday to mark the launch of the first work, a six-tonne, five-metre-tall equestrian-esque corten work sited just opposite St James’s Park Tube station. The work—which has the rather fetching title Power over others is Weakness disguised as strength (2023)—can be interpreted in different ways (depending on where you’re standing), evoking a man on horseback and/or an ambiguous curling line. Erudite Hornby draws on history, looking to the infamous monarch Richard I (Richard the Lionheart). The piece, commissioned by the property developer Northacre, stands meanwhile on an auspicious spot—the orchards of Westminster Abbey until the 1600s and, more recently, the Metropolitan Police Headquarters. At an enjoyable post-launch dinner, when guests feasted on duck and chocolate mousse (not at the same time), self-deprecating Hornby said he’s been working non-stop for two years on the new commissions with the next work—Here and There at David Chipperfield’s building at One Kensington Gardens—due to be unveiled in July… watch this space.

Nick Hornby at the post-launch dinner with the sculpture maquette.

courtesy Gareth Harris

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