Earlier today I trotted by Caernarfon Castle, an Edwardian fortress that sits on the river with fairy tale chic. The battlements have a new lodger, a twenty-foot gold-painted statue of the lass from Tiger Bay, Dame Shirley Bassey.
Dame Shirley sings to Prime Minister Lloyd-George whose statue stands below in the square. She has a spear emphasising her “Boudicca” pose. There is an empty space where her heart should be. The statue is called Bassey’s Cry.
The work of artist Mark Rees it combines two powerful female icons, historical and cultural. The absent heart symbolises a society’s need for art to flourish. “The statue is a call to arms to protect the arts and a rallying cry for people to use their creativity,” Rees told the BBC.
It might serve as a damning indictment of cuts considered by the local authority - a museum at the birthplace of Lloyd-George is under threat due to a £27,000 funding shortfall.
Any resemblance to Dame Shirley was lost on me. I did wonder if The Doctor had fixed that chameleon circuit after his last visit to the castle. I suppose the diamond ring might be a clue. Best known for singing Goldfinger and Diamonds Are Forever Dame Shirley resides in Monaco these days but proved she can still steal the show singing Get the Party Started at Glastonbury a few years back.