The Awakening, by Unus Safardiar, St John’s Lodge

1998, bronze by Unus Safardiar (b. 1968)

This was the first permanent statue installed in the park for 70 years. It was placed here in memory of Anne Lydia Evans (1929-90) who was a GP in Marylebone for many years in a very innovative practice with a qualified counsellor and community psychiatric nurses. She did a sabbatical at the American University in Beirut as professor of family health. On her return to England she worked for the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture and retired to become conciliator for the Kensington Health Authority between complaining patients and GP.

The artist was born in Samarkand, graduated as a painter in St Petersburg, and came to England in 1994. In 2007 he took part with other Russian artists and Sean Henry in an exhibition in Queen Mary’s Gardens organised by the Regent’s Art Foundation. Safardiar explains that ‘The shell represents an organic capsule, a seed or fruit enclosing the human spirit or sexuality with two human faces looking tenderly at each other.’

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