Franck & Lohsen Architects
Exedra & Statue of Joan of Arc, Longwood University
Serving as the terminus of the primary pedestrian spine – Brock Commons – this new statue of Joan of Arc will honor the patroness of Longwood University. Working with noted Scottish sculptor Alexander Stoddart this bronze statue and sculpture series will be set atop a limestone plinth in the center of an exedra bench and memorial precinct.
In the sculptors words:
“This model is rendered as a complete work in its own right with no stepping seen at the sides as yet. The steps I mean are those which rise up through the sides of the pedestal as they do up the front of the exedral area as a whole, allowing the pedestal to ‘bite’ down into the area immediately before the exedra pavement.”
“The base is in a vigorously massed ‘National Romantic’ idiom with a strong fore-and-aft action, to follow the needs of the flag above. Joan is positioned considerably to the front and the movement of the composition is slow and relentlessly military. The composition gives the distinct impression of this being an equestrian piece – without any major equine element. This strange effect is quite to the point in a monument that, by virtue of its mystical subject, should have something uncanny about it.”
“To confirm the vertical figure of Joan, a secondary pedestal occurs at the front, topped with the bronze helmet of the heroine which gazes at us in its terrifying, empty way. This facial void sets up a pathos of distance between the face of Joan (so small and far away – and so pretty and grumpy) and this other anti-visage at our eye-level or thereabouts. Clasped around the pedestal is a running relief in bronze – a procession – showing infantry and mounted troops moving in the same forward direction. This is the Scots Guard of Joan of Arc.”
“There is an escutcheon at the back of the pedestal, from which the procession originates. This will be the heraldic device associated with Joan herself. On the large inscription area to the back of the exedra the arms of the University should be positioned, cut in stone. This is a point of etiquette – to keep the University at a respectful distance from the image of the heroine, and to avoid any imposition of University identity upon her person. One cannot use a Saint for branding purposes! So there is a gentlemanly distance kept between us and her.”