Southbank, National Theatre
If, today, you walk along the embankment of London's River Thames, on the stretch of river walk just upstream of Waterloo Bridge, you may come across a bronze statue of two larger-than-life nude women, seated on a plinth outside the National Theatre. Modernist, yet classicising, bare-breasted under the London sky, these two figures are a sculptural reminder of an event that took place on that site over fifty years ago.
Like the Royal Festival Hall, the only permanent architectural survival of the South Bank Exhibition, they bear witness to the dreams of a generation that celebrated the Festival of Britain in 1951. The monument, cast in bronze from the original plaster in 1987, is Frank Dobson's London Pride. Commissioned for the Festival, it once formed part of an artistic programme that featured over thirty sculptures by leading British artists of the day.