The dignity and appropriateness of the memorial in Hyde Park to the 52 people murdered in the London Tube and bus bombings four years ago speak for themselves. The concept of 52 tall, strong bars of steel towering above those who visit the memorial to pay their respects makes a statement about the indestructibility of the human spirit; it also proclaims a resilience against those who would, in one way or another, remove our freedoms.
Yet what the memorial also reflects is a tactful evolution of taste, and an appropriateness not merely to the suffering of the dead and bereaved, but to the spirit of the age. It can often be dangerous, in contemporary art, to strive not to be literal; it risks lack of comprehension on the part of the viewer and, in this case, displaying a lack of respect.
Just as this memorial, for which the sculptor Antony Gormley acted as an adviser, gets the mood so entirely right, so some memorials in the past have got it quite horribly wrong.
I’m still not a fan. It needs to be bigger. Now it’s clustered and a little smaller than it should be and looks strange in the amount of space it seems to have. Needs to be bigger towering things that people can sit and walk between and then realize what it is they’re sitting and walking amongst.