Type Sculpture , Marker
This open tower-like structure is made from steel tubing, with the bottom part filled in by steel panels. On the upper part of the tower and all down the sides is decorative wrought iron scroll work. The ornate filagree steel salamander is contained within the upper part of the tower, and acts as a gateway marker to Dudley Town Centre. The salamander is surrounded by symbolic flames, with decorative scroll work on its head. The tower stands on a steel plinth, and is coloured in shades of bronze and red. There is a decorative fence around the work in filagree steel, painted in bronze. Its height varies from 50cm to 2 metres.
This sculpture is part of a whole programme of works along Dudley's Southern Bypass that has been funded under the Percent for Art scheme. The design was chosen from two possible options put before the public in January 2000, namely the Salamander Obelisk and a series of smaller obelisks shaped like nails, each topped with a silhouette of a famous Dudley personality from the worlds of trade and industry, art and sport.(1) In the event, it was decided that the figures would be installed on the grass verge next to the roundabout, but that this would be more of a long-term strategy, whereas it was originally intended to instal the Salamander Obelisk by the end of 2000.(2)
The artist has stated that he chose the salamander because of its reputed ability to regenerate limbs or tail. He saw the creature as a symbol of the ongoing regeneration of Dudley Town Centre. The salamander also appears in the borough's historic coat of arms, and this too guided his choice of design.
Dudley/Town/Centre (at base of obelisk on both sides)
PMSA recording information