Holger Lonze, Red Baron Angel, 2010ibhne, plaster for bronze, 2008

Miniature Urban Art

"Whilst there is a focus on landmark art features these days, small intimate work is rarely commissioned for urban contexts despite being more accessible and tactile. Small scale is particularly appropriate for this subject: gargoyles are shy creatures lurking at great heights while the nature of guardian angels is not to be seen in action. This work is intended to be discovered by accident."

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Armagh Miniature Street Sculpture

As you walk around the streets of Armagh City, you may have the eerie feeling that you are being watched. And you’re not wrong... Twenty-two tiny sets of still, glinting eyes will be silently following your every move. From nooks and crannies, behind windows and boot scrapers, fantastical, humorous and grotesque creatures are living their lives, often as a parody of our own strange human ways. And they are there for you to discover and delight in. These small and intricate bronze sculptures of gargoyles, chimeras and angels have been created in response to both the City’s existing sacral architecture and the jetsam of everyday life. Holger's work brings these creatures into our time and down to our level, giving each one a distinct character of its own and a place in the City’s modern street-life.

Download a printable double-sided PDF with map and locations here (360KB).

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Out of the Depth of Time

The sculptural depiction of mythical and spiritual supernatural creatures like gargoyles, chimeras and angels come from the Mediaeval period. But their origins go back much further. Angels (from the Greek angelos, ‘messenger’) are found in many of the world’s religions. Surprisingly, angels only earned their wings in depictions in Konstantinople of the 4th century A.D.

The origins of gargoyles on the other hand, goes back to ancient Egypt, where they were used to eject water from temple roofs. While the term gargoyle (from the French gargouille for ‘throat’ or ‘gullet’) always refers to sculptural and functional water-spouts, the term chimera or grotesque describes a purely ornamental statue. In Britain, gargoyles fulfilled their functional purpose right until the early 18th century, when an Act of Parliament made the use of down-pipes compulsory for any new buildings. Angels, gargoyles and chimeras also fulfilled a more spiritual function. Besides being messengers from God, angels also were warriors or guards, hence the term “guardian angel”. Chimeras and gargoyles also fulfilled a similar function of warding off evil spirits from the sacral buildings to which they had been applied.


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Holger Lonze, Coin Chewer Gargoyle, bronze, 2010
Holger Lonze, Gargoyles and Angels, Armagh, bronze, 2010 Holger Lonze, Gargoyles and Angels, Armagh, bronze, 2010 Holger Lonze, Gargoyles and Angels, Armagh, bronze, 2010 Holger Lonze, Gargoyles and Angels, Armagh, bronze, 2010 Holger Lonze, Gargoyles and Angels, Armagh, bronze, 2010
Holger Lonze, Gargoyles and Angels, Armagh, bronze, 2010 Holger Lonze, Gargoyles and Angels, Armagh, bronze, 2010 Holger Lonze, Gargoyles and Angels, Armagh, bronze, 2010 Holger Lonze, Gargoyles and Angels, Armagh, bronze, 2010 Holger Lonze, Gargoyles and Angels, Armagh, bronze, 2010
Holger Lonze, Gargoyles and Angels, Armagh, bronze, 2010 Holger Lonze, Gargoyles and Angels, Armagh, bronze, 2010 Holger Lonze, Gargoyles and Angels, Armagh, bronze, 2010 Holger Lonze, Gargoyles and Angels, Armagh, bronze, 2010 Holger Lonze, Gargoyles and Angels, Armagh, bronze, 2010
Holger Lonze, Gargoyles and Angels, Armagh, bronze, 2010 Holger Lonze, Gargoyles and Angels, Armagh, bronze, 2010 Holger Lonze, Gargoyles and Angels, Armagh, bronze, 2010 Holger Lonze, Gargoyles and Angels, Armagh, bronze, 2010 Holger Lonze, Gargoyles and Angels, Armagh, bronze, 2010
Holger Lonze, Gargoyles and Angels, Armagh, bronze, 2010 Holger Lonze, Gargoyles and Angels, Armagh, bronze, 2010 Holger Lonze, Gargoyles and Angels, Armagh, bronze, 2010    

Close Up...

Please click on the thumbs to enlarge the sculptures and to learn about the context and locations of the work. All are cast in bronze and are between 4in and 16in high and are patinated in a deep emerald green colour.

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