Every morning, as I get off the 93 bus outside Centre Court shopping centre on my way to Wimbledon station, I see the sculptured statute of two ladies who have become known among my friends as ‘the two fat ladies’. They always make me smile. They are so confident, so present and yet playful. Set as if determined to shop the heck out of all rivals, their wry, sparse features speak of voluminous thoughts just as their bare and barren shapes hint at desire and voluptuousness. Today, on a whim, I took a photo of my two fat ladies and posted it on twitter, sparking a wee conversation about their history.
The eight foot sculpture is apparently more properly call Walking Woman, although it seems that Two Fat Ladies is common parlance among local residents. It is a local landmark and a popular meeting up point.
The statue is the work of artist Andre Wallace. You can see more of Wallace’s work, of which the Walking Woman sculpture seems quite typical, on his own website. Our lovely ladies were first unveiled at the official opening of Centre Court shopping centre in September 1992, when they were positioned at the top of a set of steps and had a different orientation. They were temporarily removed twenty years later, while Wimbledon Station forecourt was having a face lift, but were returned to their home, inspiring Wimbledon shoppers, in June 2012.