• Hamilton Fountain/ Judiciary Service Commission

Location: Nairobi  Kenya
Photographer: Billy Mwangi

The world over is chock-full of child study statues of various natures to commemorate various events. The naked boy is no different. It is a life-size statue of a young boy donning a wig and clutching a fish at arm to depict the face of justice as naked, blind and slippery like the fish at arm. Commissioned in the honor of lawyer Alexander George Hamilton who died in 1937, the statue is propped up in the traditional display formats of statues and bears a podium finish of ornate malleable form and culminates into a water feature that bears four turtles spewing water back into the main podium.

Hamilton Fountain_Supreme Court Kenya Hamilton Fountain_Supreme Court Kenya 

Apart from the main sculptural form of the boy, the statue is a symmetrical design that seems to mock its backdrop in the high court front façade and divides the movement along it into the exit and entry pathways.

The statue like many within the country that are within a building or complex has been placed at the entrance of the high court and also like many others seems to define movement within the context into which it is put. Its central location ensures that it can be viewed going into the high court and also coming out.

Hamilton Fountain_Supreme Court Kenya Hamilton Fountain_Supreme Court Kenya

Traditional bronze has been used on the sculpture’s main articulated area with concrete base that acts as a carrier of the water feature. The middle part of it is marble, a silent marble that almost seems to co-exist with the concrete base and curbing that is the containment. It is a purely Victorian sculpture with the traditional ornamentation reminiscent of English adornment seen to capitalize the marble central part of the statue.

It best describes the innocence of justice, both in stature and proportions. The child is small in size compared to the entire sculptural form. This compounds the child status of the statue; the nudity still further reinforces this fact (more like the innocent unafraid child at home with himself and comfortable with the world’s view of him). This is the message in terse but pithy symbolism that the statue seeks to show. And it does in its rightful might.

Particularly impressive is the way in which the sculpture has been maintained over the years with the water feature perhaps the few of many water based sculptures and monuments that with time and neglect have ran dry. 

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