26 Shining Light: Margaret Kenna – Light, Life and Shade. Musings from the statue in Queen Anne’s Square

Hello? Notice me! I notice you.
I notice everything,
Standing here all year round, leaves falling on my head, freezing to death.
That is my little joke. I am dead already, you see.
You are not laughing.
Ah no, you are grieving about your husband, I heard you say so on your phone.
I am so sorry. It sounds very sad.
Of course, you realise this is one of the things people come to our Bloomsbury squares for,
To find solace at difficult times.
I like to think my square is very healing.
We mirror the seasons here, in the carefully planted flowerbeds and roses
And the trees,
Sometimes green, sometimes brown, sometimes gold, glowing in the sun,
As they are today. Beautiful.
(Watch that squirrel now dear, he is very bold.
Look at him, hovering, ready to jump on your sandwich)
Of course, sometimes people are just lost
And we are a pleasant surprise along the way.
We get creative sorts too,
Like that writer over there scribbling in her book
And the artist with his easel set up next to a tree.
He makes special trips from the country, just to NOTICE things. Unusual.
Shall I introduce myself?
I have to, really, since I have not been furnished with a plaque.
I feel the other statues are rather better looked after because most are old establishment men.
Between you and me, they are frightfully boring. I can quite see why you would not wish to sit next to one of them.
There are some worth visiting though to be fair.
For example, I must say I think of Virginia and Mahatma fondly.  I can remember them both walking here through the different squares when they were alive.
They are in one square each now, of course, like me.
You could go and see them another day perhaps?
Anyway, just to finish the introductions. I am not Victoria or Anne, like some people think.
But I was a Queen, Queen Charlotte.
I have no idea why the square is not named after me. I had some power in my day
And a purpose. Mainly standing by my man, as we women do. Or did then.
Of course, he was the source of much loss and sorrow. As men can be, sadly,
Through no fault of their own. I find they are limited creatures.
So, I do feel for you, my dear,
But I know you will recover and do very well on your own.
Just as I have recovered and have a greater purpose now.
All we statues serve a purpose
And my purpose now, dear, is to notice,
To see you,
To shine a light on this square where all can come,
To find some meaning.
All our visitors can refresh and renew themselves here,
Before they head back to deal with
the light and shade
of life.
All their lives.
Such a range we see in the squares.
Lovely to see you, my dear
Come back soon

Margaret Kenna

The Light and Shade exhibition will take place in various squares between 15th and 24th October. Click here for more details.

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