Union, Prudence, Energy
The sculpture illustrates the desire for political change, and how the desire motivated the Chartist movement. The groups take their title from the motto of the Chartist convention 'Union, Prudence, Energy'.
Union (The Ideal City) - the figures carry a model of Newport surrounded by dancing children, the group refers to the physical appearance of Newport. "The children dance through the space underneath the model, which is a reminder of the many tunnels and fly-overs that weave their way in, around, under and through the land on which Newport is built".
Prudence (Still Life) - These two figures are representative of the arts, commerce and industry which have played an important part in the fortunes of Newport both in the past and present.
Energy (Apotheosis) - Consists of three recumbent figures arranged in strata like the soil, they lie seemingly crushed but they form the foundation from which the spirit of Chartism, represented by the flying figures, sprang.
The sculpture was commissioned by Newport Borough Council with assistance from the Welsh Arts Council to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the uprising in 1839.The work is located on the site the riots.
Discontent with working conditions led to the Peoples Charter published in May 1838 by the London Working Men's Association. It contained six demands calling for parliamentary reform. Chartists gathered for a march into Newport in November 1839 led by John Frost, Zephaniah Williams and William Jones. The Chartists assembled outside the Westgate Hotel and culminated in a riot. The leaders were arrested and sentenced to exile. In 1854, the three leaders, Frost, Williams and Jones were unconditionally pardoned.
Raised letters on base of one of sculpture groups: A SCULPTURE / TO COMMEMORATE / THE 150TH / ANNIVERSARY / OF THE / CHARTIST / UPRISING / 1839 - 1889 / COMMISSIONED BY / NEWPORT BOROUGH COUNCIL / CLLR ROSEMARY BUTLER / - MAYOR OF NEWPORT / CLLR HARRY JONES / LEADER OF THE COUNCIL / CHRISTOPHER TAPP / LL B / CHIEF EXECUTIVE
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