Why is this Sculptor from Los Angeles Erecting a 313 Foot Tall Sculpture in Africa?
At over 300 feet, the proposed sculpture will be twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty that rests in the Harbor in New York welcoming visitors and immigrants to American shores.
Just as that sculpture has become an American icon, but was originally a gift from another country (France, in case you don’t remember your history), sculptor Nijel Binns hopes his sculpture will create a bond between the US and Africa.
Cameroon has offered a site for the sculpture, titled “Mother of Humanity” along with a theme park that will accompany the work. The exact site is not yet determined, as Binn is open to offers from other African governments.
“The ‘Mother of Humanity’ sculpture I’m planning is an icon to be seen and appreciated by scores of people from across the continent of Africa,” Binns said. “It will not be for one African country alone. The artwork will be a permanent fixture in Africa for decades to come. It is their gift.”
Wherever it ends up, this sculpture will be one of the tallest in the world. And it is more than a sculpture, it is also a building, an interactive exhibit.
Binns, a sculptor out of the Los Angeles, California region, compares the sculpture in many ways to the Statue of Liberty. His sculpture will also be of a woman–and possibly have a way for visitors to climb to the crown.
The not-for-profit organization, Acts of Random Kindness contacted Binns for this project. They then assisted in presenting his work to the Cameroon government.
Mother of Humanity will be similar to a sculpture Binns created in 1992 that is on permanent display in the Watts Labor Community Action Committee facility.
This piece, although considerably smaller than the proposed African sculpture is not small, either. At 16-1/2 feet tall, she is officially monumental in fact.
This piece was inspired by the 1992 riots and his Jamaican-born mother. His mother knew he was something special from an early age.
“My mom and I always shared a very close knit relationship,” he said. “She loved to tell me there is nothing I couldn’t do.
“For me, my mother represented real loving-kindness. So with my mother’s love in mind and a great respect for the role of all women, I conceived, ‘The Mother of Harmony’ project.
Binns’ multi-cultural background and his respect for his mother–and all mothers–has him aiming his sights on creating a series of sculptures of women around the world.
Born to an African father in England, Binns moved to Los Angeles with his family in 1980. His first major commission was in 1990 when he was commissioned to sculpt Michael Jackson.
It is the sculptor’s hope that the American people will rally behind this project. Miniatures of the ‘Mother of Humanity’ are available for purchase.
“Similar to the way the French gifted America with the Statue of Liberty, I want my monument to serve as a gift from Americans to the African people,” Binns said.
Read the original article by Amanda Anderson
Photo of sculptor Nijel Binns photo by Ian Foxx
Click to read more about Nijel Binns, member of the Portrait Sculptors Society of the Americas
Photo of ‘Mother of Humanity’, courtesy of Watts Labor Community Action Committee