National Recording Project


Detail from: Memorial to 158 Squadron by Peter W. Naylor, 2009

Two Swans, Sculptures, Battersea Bridge Rd.


Type Sculpture

     Two naturalistically modelled swans in the act of taking flight, mounted on separate bronze bases on the tops of the brick walls either side of a walkway.
     When property developers John Sunley requested planning permission from Wandsworth Borough Council, the Council gave its consent on condition that the developers commissioned a piece of public sculpture for the site. The overt reason for the choice of subject for the sculpture, as Marr-Johnson, a bird lover, has explained, was that the image of two graceful birds taking flight served as a 'perfect symbol for a new company being launched'. From a personal point of view, the sculpture reflected her concern over the large numbers of swans along the Thames that were dying of strangulation as a result of being entangled in fishing lines. Marr-Johnson spent a considerable amount of time studying swans, both from the life at Slimbridge Wildfowl Reserve and on video, using the freeze button so that she could sketch her subjects in the act of landing and taking off. In addition, so that she might achieve a deeper understanding of the birds' anatomy, she dissected a goose. Swans was Marr-Johnson's first major public commission after being accepted as a member of the Royal Society of Portrait Sculptors.

Contributor details

Contributor Role
Singer, Morris Foundry
Marr-Johnson, Catherine Sculptor

Element details

Part of work Material Dimensions
Two swans Bronze / Green patina life-size
Two bases Concrete (green coloured) for upper swan: 91x46x10; for lower swan: 95.5x51x10
Two plinth Brick None

PMSA recording information

Reference Region
General condition Good
Surface condition
Structural condition
  • Broken, missing parts
  • Graffiti
Road Battersea Bridge Rd.
Precise location Either side of an inclined walkway leading from the riverside walk up to Battersea Bridge Road
A-Z ref 76 C7
OS ref None

Sorry, we have no precise geographical information for this item.

Date of design 1984
Year of unveiling None
Unveiling details July 1985
Commissioned by Sunley Holdings, by Wandsworth Council request
Duty of care Wandsworth Council
Listing status Not listed
At risk? No known risk

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