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Hornsey Library Fountain

Restoration of the fountain

Hornsey Library’s bronze sculpture of a reclining woman set in a pool, surrounded by a curtain of water jets and with a curved curtain wall behind was by Staffordshire-born artist Thomas Bayliss Huxley-Jones (1908 –1968) and was commissioned in 1964.

Huxley-Jones was taught by Henry Moore and was well known for his elegant compositions with a smooth surface and simple profile. His other work includes ‘The Joy of Life’ in Hyde Park and ‘Helios’ at BBC White City Studios, both also sculptural centrepieces for fountains. The curtain wall behind the figure is inset with bronzes depicting a plan of the borough of Hornsey and the medieval tower of Hornsey church.
The fountain has not been working for over 10 years.

The fountain is structurally in sound condition, atmospheric staining to all surfaces due to exposure from water and weather. The paint on the curtain wall has failed in several areas. Granite panels are loose and most of the joints are empty. The plinth has lost most of its granite cladding and what remains is heavily stained. The pond has hairline cracks throughout. The existing pump system is disconnected and has broken sections. Some of the jets are missing. Most coping stone joints have failed.

The project will include cleaning and repainting the wall, realigning, repointing and polishing the granite panels, and restoring the bronze panels. The statue will be cleaned and re-patinated at the Fiorini foundry and new plinth panels will replace the missing ones. The pond will have a new waterproofing membrane and new fountain pumps and nozzles, producing fountain jets 1.5-2 metres high.

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