Look Up!

So, sometimes it’s impossible to shake off an idea. An idea for a piece of work just stays in your head, often goes through various changes as time and thoughts progress, but the concept remains the same and stays with you.

Well, I’ve had a yellow disc dangling from the ceiling in three different studios now, a blue sheet draped in the air, and a kaleidoscope tacked to a window. They relate to a series of three sculptural works all inspired by the perspective offered by time spent in the great outdoors.

The Sun Never Stops Shining is a bright yellow transparent disc that towers overhead offering shelter, and a space for reflection. Through the grey days, life’s difficulties, and hard times some things remain constant, wether one’s aware of them or not – the sun never stops shining. Get out, soak up some essential vitamin d, feel the breeze on your face!

Similarly, Look Up! offersa place to shelter, to gather, to chew the fat, and contemplate. A place to look up from one’s smart phone, to interact with real people, real environments, in real time.

The kaleidoscope idea (working title, Chasing Rainbows) is far from being fully resolved, but it won’t go away. I just know that I want to create a piece of sculptural work that uses prisms to catch and reflect light. A piece that can be approached from any angle, and reveals the “magic” of daylight – the beauty that exists in the simplest things – the beauty that exists in nature!

An invitation for an imaginary spatial journey

Love this! Love Modus Operandi’s work – all kinds of fantastic public art in unexpected corners of the country. Check this is out

Artist: Antoni Malinowski
Title of work: Spectral Flip
Client: University of Oxford
Location: Andrew Wiles Building, ROQ, University of Oxford
Year: 2015
Image credit: Valerie Bennett


Antoni Malinowski commented on his installation:
Each day the journey of light is registered on the two large walls facing each other in the luminous foyer. To complement and enhance this journey, I began by sensitising this background by applying a reflective paint made with mica ground to a fine pigment. Then on the south facing wall, using light absorbing pigments, I painted in colours related to the warm end of the spectrum – from red to yellow. These light wave subtractive earth pigments have been used by painters for around forty thousand years.

The wall paintings will appear very different from different viewing points and with different light conditions. The colour will oscillate between darkness and light, appearing and disappearing, showing different sides of binary complementarities. One elongated thin line in each painting will contribute to the opening of the pictorial space – an invitation for an imaginary spatial journey.”


Awesome – literally!

Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford Commemorative Commission

I’m heading to Oxford this weekend, and I’m planning to visit the recently unveiled public art commission, Pollinator by Simon Periton, at the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter (I worked on a public engagement project for the work, so particularly excited to see the finished work realised and in situ)… here’s a few images of Periton’s work The Alchemical Tree at the ROQ…

Anyway, in checking out Modus Operandi’s website I’ve just stumbled across this exciting news about the Three Seated Figures by sculptor Daniel Silver. Silver’s Three Seated Figures is the winning submission of an invited competition for the Radcliffe Infirmary Commemorative Commission, organized by arts consultancy Modus Operandi.

Three Seated Figures by Daniel Silver 2015 maquette for Radcliffe Infirmary Commemorative Commission 1 (2)

Daniel Silver, Three Seated Figure (maquette) 2015, Carrara marble

For those that aren’t aware, the ROQ is a new, public development owned by the University of Oxford on the site of an old hospital, the Radcliffe Infirmary. Info on Modus Operandi’s website reads,

“The Radcliffe Nurses have formed an initiative to celebrate their work and that of all those in the former Radcliffe Infirmary on site, with a public artwork for the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter (ROQ). The Radcliffe Nurses raised funds for the initial competition and maquette; fundraising is now in progress towards the realization of this important work, planned to be located outside St. Luke’s Chapel, Triton Square.

Inspired by the Michael Rosen poem These Are The Hands, in particular the lines:

‘These are the hands
That touch us first… …And touch us last’

and referencing various existing works on site at the ROQ – Bernini’s Triton Fountain and John Bacon’s statue of Atlas and Hercules on the roof of the Radcliffe Observatory – Silver’s initial approach was inspired by the context and history of the site:
‘I wanted to engage with and understand the architecture and surroundings of the area. I looked at the layout of the Quarter and was struck by the straight, linear approach to the buildings, which effectively choreographs our movement through the space.’”

Interesting how Silver has been inspired by the psychology of the space in creating his sculpture, the maquette of which is currently on display at the Andrew Wiles Building in the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter. Beautifully sensitive that the artist has captured how the approach to medicine is often so linear, and yet the holistic approach taken by many nurses is quite opposite to that, and this has been captured in sculpture.

Fundraising is being led by the Radcliffe Nurses and Modus Operandi: those interested in supporting the commission should contact: modus@modusoperand-art.com I hope the work is realised.