As the theme for this exhibition was inspired by the architecture of the church, in particular the caryatids that stand guard over the apse, I thought I would discover a little more about the originals. The church was designed in the Greek Revival style and the caryatids are one of its most original features. Made of terracotta around cast iron columns, they were designed by John Charles Felix Rossi in the 19th century. A caryatid is a female figure that provides support and it is most likely that the name comes from the women of Sparta who danced annually in honour of "Artemis of the Walnut Tree". A similar figure can be seen at the British Museum, originally a support from the Acropolis. A male equivalent is an Atlantes. There are many such figures all over London - seehttp://www.speel.me.uk/gp/caryatids.htm for an interesting article of Caryatids and Atlantes.
Written by Janette Bright