A female figure holding a basket containing chickens on her head. Robustly modelled in a manner reminiscent of Frink's work, the green-black bronze has weathered extremely well. The sculpture stands in a flower bed to one side of the Forum shopping precinct.
Schwarz set out the thinking behind this sculpture in a letter to a local schoolgirl. He said he was looking for realism, wanting the woman 'to appear as a tough, hardworking peasant, not a graceful girl'. The roughness of the surface was a deliberate attempt to indicate its hand-worked nature, and its 'patchy' colouration was a method of giving a pre-weathered look to the statue.(1)
Greeted by a storm of criticism from locals, the sculpture was regarded by some as 'shameful' in its blunt portrayal of a working class woman.(2) Commissioned by J.Seymour Harris and Partners, developers of the Forum shopping centre which was built in 1966 complete with 'eye-catching' mosaics.(3) Market Woman was originally sited on a low brick base, but was moved to its present position when the area was redeveloped in 1993.
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