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!


Check out this fabulous sculpture recently erected at Snape Maltings in Suffolk by artist David Rickard and architect Germano Di Chello…

The below text is by Lauren Grieco and was lifted directly from FRAME MAGAZINE.

CORD crafts a multidirectional periscope for children to view distant vistasSUFFOLK – Snape Maltings, an art complex which is also the home of an outdoor sculpture garden, concert hall and the Aldeburgh Festival, sits amid a picturesque landscape along the coast. 

To join the noteworthy artworks by Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and Sarah Lucas, the Aldeburgh Music and Suffolk Coastal District Council called for a sculpture which ‘offers a vantage point across the marshes at Snape’. Artist David Rickard and architect Germano Di Chello responded with an out-of-the-box solution which reflects its surroundings. Hailing from New Zealand and Britain respectively, the London-based interdisciplinary duo brought together their complementary backgrounds to form Collaborative Office of Research and Design (CORD) in 2011.

Instead of a conventional stairway leading to a platform to overlook the rolling countryside, Rickard and Di Chello let curiousity seekers keep their feet firmly planted on the ground. Stretching skywards from a square footprint, Myriad is a steel tower which reaches nearly nine meters in height. Secured within the metal framework, mirrored and brushed steel panels at its base and zenith of the columns work together to play upon the principle of a periscope. As children and adults gaze into the low-lying mirrors, glimpses of the distant landscape appear.

  • Client Aldeburgh Music
  • Designers David Rickard and Germano Di Chello (CORD)
  • Structural engineer Price & Myers
  • Steel fabricator Flux Metal
  • Stone supplier CED
  • Location Henry Moore Lawn
  • Address Aldeburgh Music, Snape Maltings, Snape, Suffolk IP17 1SP
  • Construction cost £45K
  • Size 3.38m W x 3.38m D x 8.875m H
  • Completion date June 2016
  • Fabrication period 4 weeks
  • Photos CORD
  • cord.uk
  • david-rickard.net
  • germanodichello.com
  • June 27, 2016

Stepping Stones

A recent walk in the woods where I encountered a pile of felled trees got me thinking about all of the information about history ‘stored’ in those trees – that by looking carefully at a cross section of the trees it’s possible to learn so much… or so little if we are simply to chop the wood up and burn it – our choice. As so many things do, this got me thinking about pathways and the decision making process, about preciousness and disregard. I imagined the felled trees chopped into tree stumps, arranged as they might have appeared in a forest as stepping stones. I imagined them bronzed, immortalised, there to learn from, to admire, to enjoy, to play with/on. Beautiful, clever trees. Nature with all its hidden messages.

Jack Eden – Axis at the Old Fire Station, Oxford

Oxford-based sculptor, Jack Eden, is at it again. Last March he exhibited at the little known (but quite wonderful) Turrill Sculpture Garden in Summertown (curiously located at the back of the library on South Parade). I wrote about his show there, but it didn’t get printed – see below).

Anyway, I’m writing this as he’s good, really good, and exhibiting again, this time an indoor exhibition, in the gallery at the Old Fire Station. The below work is called Imperfection Perfected. I haven’t seen the new work that he’s made for his current exhibition yet, but here’s a link to Jack’s blog with more info about the show, Axis, which continues until the 15th Feb – Jack’s Valentine’s gift to you! Get thee there!


Aperture by Jack Eden at the Turill Sculpture Garden

Early career artist, Jack Eden, encourages visitors to read between the lines, and take the time to see the world through someone else’s eyes in his exhibition of new works in the Turill Sculpture Garden in Summertown.

Situated off South Parade, behind the rows of dusty books in the Public Library, is a 100ft by 60ft walled garden. Twelve years ago local artist and curator Katherine Shock approached Oxfordshire County Council and proposed that the then empty, overgrown and uninviting space be transformed into an attractive garden for both library users and the general public to view temporary sculpture exhibitions by contemporary artists, or simply sit and soak up the peace of the tranquil setting. Since opening to the public the Turill Sculpture Garden has become increasingly ambitious in it’s programming, as evidenced in the current exhibition, Aperture, by Jack Eden that continues until Saturday 27th April 2013.

Aperture, Eden’s exhibition of elegant, white monoliths, is a new series of sculptures designed to draw focus to existing spaces, framing and magnifying the reality that the viewer sees through them. Unusually, it is the word through that is key in this sentence, as Eden presents the viewer with a series of works planted in flowerbeds and amongst shrubbery. Importantly, it is not the white, positive space that Eden is asking us to view, but the changing nature of the negative space, the viewfinder.

Giving a whole new meaning to through the looking glass Eden discreetly, and repeatedly presents the viewer with a comfortably familiar shape. Each ratio that the artist presents is 1.5:1; which, for those in the know, is derived from the 6 x 4” width to height ratio found in photography. However, the silent simplicity of the sculptures belies this mathematic precision. This work isn’t part of the trend for two-dimensional, geometric pop art (by which I mean populist, and slightly flakey with it – lacking conceptual substance, as opposed to Pop Art).

Jack Eden’s work focuses on the interplay between sculptural material and form, and how one affects the other physically, aesthetically, and conceptually, and there is a tangible physicality to the dimensions of the sculptures themselves that stand, as individuals, eyes (or eye) wide open, inviting the viewer to take a look through the aperture and find one’s own image. This open invitation invites a heightened sensitivity to the surroundings, making it particularly intriguing revising the works in different weather conditions, reviewing the world each time from a different perspective as nature dictates what one sees, again highlighting perception as an intrinsic element of the work; after all, this is sculpture, not photography, and as such one experiences so much more than a still image, but a very real experience.

Resonating with the work of the late great English sculptor Barbara Hepworth, and the contemporary American installation artist James Turrell, Eden’s work opens up a dialogue between photography, mathematics, and nature. Katherine Shock, Curator at the Turill Sculpture Garden expanded on this commenting on how Eden arrived at the dimensions of the individual sculptures,

“Aperture and image are governed by equations and formulae, which likewise rationalise and simplify the differing heights and widths of the sculptures.”

In the 1960s James Turrell introduced an art that was not an object but an experience in perception, and just as Turrell manipulates light rather than paint or sculptural material, so Eden manipulates views and focuses the viewer’s attention on something greater than the sum of the sculpture’s parts.

Aperture relies on the unique perspective of the viewer, creating a shared, yet very personal experience. For some visitors to this exhibition the works will frame the garden’s tranquil beauty, the Buddleia, the Portuguese laurel, or the ivy climbing up an ancient wall, for others the experience might be much more philosophical and reflective, whilst others may simply enjoy the positive space, the canvas, the way that the man-made objects contrast so starkly with their environment, and the play of light upon the even surfaces… and that’s what makes these works great, and prompted me to return to this exhibition for a second look – I encourage you to do the same.

Experiments for large-scale public-space art installations

Look, the Sky is Blue, It Never Stops Shining, and Let There be Light are ideas for a series of large-scale public-space installations for urban spaces that loom over the viewer given a physical sense of wonder that can be moved around, marveled at, and explored. The intention of the series of sculptures is to reconnect the viewer with nature and their environment by reminding them of the elements, and in an attempt to encourage people to take time out to think, and physically lose themselves in perspective.