The Spiders from Mars

I bet you are thinking: another tenuous link with a David Bowie song title. Well actually you might be surprised to learn that this lovely triptych of concrete planters filled with municipal annuals is actually around a monument to one of the Spiders. 

Mick Ronson, one third of The Spiders from Mars was born on Beverley Road, Hull, which makes him a Hullensian. He died young, in fact the age I am now. The good people of Hull have marked his life with the Mick Ronson Memorial Stage in Queens Gardens, a park in the city centre where he was once a council gardener.

I love this clip of Starman from Top of the Pops, 1972:

Hard to believe Bowie putting his arm around Ronson's shoulders was seen as shocking and provocative at the time.

I'm interested in our connection with place, especially the built environment so for me it is intriguing that you can search on Google Maps with a person's name and it takes you to a location in the world. Mick Ronson is absent but you have a sense of his presence in the marking of his life and the knowledge that he had a connection with this place. 

The concrete planters and the surrounding architecture are very much of an era - the 1950's and 1960's. Looking at these pictures I started to think about the permanence of these objects, concrete seems untouched by the elements that might wear away at other materials, maybe a sign of the confidence of those times, bold statements that will be around long after they were placed there. It also makes me smile looking at the contrast of the manmade and the natural, delicate brightly coloured plants contained by such strength, a metaphor for our constant will to tame the natural world.

If you missed my earlier blog post from Hull, please take a look: