One of the sculptures that is on show here at the British Ironwork Centre portrays a bull, mid-charge with its head down. However, this isn’t just any bull. This particular animal has found itself in the middle of a bullfighting arena, facing a matador. This emotion-provoking sculpture also depicts the bull being wounded with ‘banderillas’, harpoon tipped lances, as it struggles to defend itself.
Every year, over 250,000 bulls are killed during bullfights, with those that manage to survive the arena being subjected to a saddening amount of violence and harm. This is why we created this monument to help raise awareness of the cruel nature of bullfighting to all of our visitors.
Recently, we were approached by photographer and film maker Mark Patterson regarding a unique commission which he had received, of which highlighting the awful nature of bullfighting was a major part. The idea was to use our bullfighting sculpture to set a scene which would be photographed for exhibition in galleries all around the UK.
We welcomed Mark and his colleages to the British Ironwork Centre in March 2021 as they made the long trip from the North East of England. Once they were all set up, one of his team was dressed in full traditional matador clothing, complete with dagger and ‘Muleta’ red flag. This made for a dramatic scene which really brought the sculpture to life and highlighted the cruel nature of the bullfighting tradition.
We look forward to seeing the final images once they are released to the public, but for now we wanted to share this image that was captured by our in-house photographer.