HM STANLEY PROJECT
This is a story of rags to riches, a struggle out of adversity to success.
Stanley, an illegitimate and very young child rejected by his family and was sent to the workhouse. He achieved great success across continents firstly as a Journalist, then an Explorer and finally becoming an MP. Stanley, while suffering from malaria, worked his way through the jungles of Africa and the rough terrain with no modern day medicines to find Dr Livingstone. This culminated in the famous handshake and the saying ‘Dr. Livingstone I presume’.
A cord was struck with Nick, “For me, he was an exceptional man of his time.” When Nick was offered the opportunity to undertake the commission, he grabbed it with both hands. Nick has expressed great movement and strength – Stanley boldly stepping forward, his hand out to greet and shake hands with anyone who wishes. Whilst conceptualising the piece, instead of elevating Stanley (on a plinth as is usual), Nick wanted him at ground level so the people of Denbigh could interact with the statue itself. By being able to shake the extended hand, people can connect with the man they now call ‘The Son of Denbigh’. Nick quotes, “The unveiling of the Statue was a very proud moment for me as it is such a huge part of the history for Denbigh, already bringing in tourism as well as being a focus for the renewed pride the people of Denbigh have of their town”.