Sunday, July 31, 2011

Firmament by Antony Gormley at Jupiter Artland

For me Firmament by Antony Gormley was one of the most fascinating pieces at Jupiter Artland, this vast steel sculpture has distinct connections with the research that I an doing with archives and with contemporary lace structures.

View from the right angle the form of a person kneeling, with their head to the ground, can be distinguished. This connection of man with earth is elemental to our being but it is the sky showing through the work that dramatically emphasises the tenuous nature of this connection.
As a contemporary lacemaker much of the appeal in this piece is in considering it as a piece of lace - the voids being an integral part of the work without which it would be a very different, and in my opinion less effective, piece.

My lacemaking is about making connections and giving form to voids which is what this sculpture does in three dimensions.
Taken out of context images of the work can appear wonderfully random and formless but in reality every strut and joint is an essential element of the overall form which is only revealed at a suitable angle and distance from the work.

One thing which surprised me about the piece was the presence of an annotated numbering system for the elements which gave it a direct link to the accession numbers that I have been working with in the Birmingham Museum archives and collections.

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