A major icon of our city. Right in front of City Hall. The Archer.
Really, it's called Three-Way Piece No. 2 but the better known alias was given by its creator:
How I came to call it ‘The Archer’ is that the two forms in the middle of the sculpture, not at the top and not at the bottom, in the middle, to me have a kind of stretch in them, and one end is the shape of a bow and this to me at one stage just reminded me of pulling and stretching a bow, and that’s why we call it ‘The Archer’.
Henry Moore in conversation with Alan Wilkinson, c.1980 from www.henry-moore.org
I'm pretty willing to admit I'm a bit of a philistine. I don't see it. The bow bit, ok. I'm more inclined to see the headless rooster, though. I can't say I really appreciate it, either, and I guess I'm not the only one because at the time that it was selected, there was a huge controversy. People thought it was too weird and they didn't want their tax dollars spent on it. Then mayor Philip Givens really dug it, though, and he found another way to fund it. He didn't get voted back in.
While I wouldn't have picked it, I got a big grin when I walked by and spotted it. It just kinda feels right, doesn't it? Like the city's been secretly pumping for us? We're clearly in the right place.