Naïve fish carvings in the wooden planks of a pier at Hull.
At Whitstable Harbour gabions have been put to good use in the construction of a remarkable feature. Approaching the construction I could see an intriguing pale line across the darker pebbles, very reminiscent of the pale lines of empty oyster shells that I had just been seeing on the pebble beaches between the breakwaters. Closer inspection proved the pale line to be a symbolic tide line of man-made decorated ceramic pebbles. The feature is known as the Deck at Dead Man’s Corner and is supposed to resemble the bow of a ship, the wall a pebbly beach, and the vertical timber structures are made to the same specification as the groynes along the shore. The ‘tide line’ is a key feature of white ceramic pebbles set into the face of the wall. These were made by local people during a series of public workshops and classes held at the Community College Whitstable. The whole structure comprises seating and a stage built in 2011 for gatherings and events.
“The Hive is a unique world class installation and experience created by artist Wolfgang Buttress, Simmonds Studio, Stage One and BDP. Pollination is important for our food security – one third of global crop yield is dependent, to some extent, on bees and other pollinators. In highlighting the importance of pollination in our food chain, The Hive poses one of the most pressing questions of our time – how can we protect our pollinators in order to feed our growing population? Illuminated by almost 1,000 LED lights, The Hive represents a vast honey bee hive. It’s linked to one of Kew’s hives and the lights flicker in time to vibrations caused when the bees communicate with one another. Wolfgang was inspired by work of Dr. Martin Benscik at Nottingham Trent University, who has developed technology to monitor the health of bee hives. His research is a prime example of how British science and creativity is helping solve global challenges.”
“What’s the buzz?
Experience four types of vibration caused by honey bees as they communicate inside a hive. Hear these bee “messages” through bone conduction where vibrations pass through bones in your head, instead of through your eardrums. The vibrations have been recorded using accelerometers by Dr. Martin Benscik, reader in physics in Nottingham Trent University.”
Accompanying the 17 metre high structure is a beautiful symphony of orchestral sounds performed in the key of C – the same key that bees buzz in. Together, the sound and light swell and diminish as the energy levels in Kew’s beehive surge.”
Quotes from on-site information noticeboards at The Hive in Kew Gardens
Beautifully textured and patterned onyx with volcanic pyroclastic breccia has been used by the famous sculptor Emily Young to create this fabulous head called Stillness Born of History II displayed (courtesy of Bowman Sculpture) at Neo Bankside in London, England, just south of the Tate Modern Gallery. Pyroclastic breccia is composed of fine-grained volcanic ash, pumice, and rock fragments larger than 2.5 inches (63.5 mm). When the fragments are smaller than this, the rock is called tuff.
This wonderful sculpture, Tempesta, is one of a group carved with consummate skill by Emily Young from multi-patterned and textured clastic igneous rock. I am unable to find the source of the stone. It is displayed, courtesy of Bowman Sculpture, at Neo Bankside behind the Tate Modern Gallery in London, England. The rock is amazing in its complexity and the work has taken advantage of the challenging medium by exploiting both its natural beauty and its flaws.
Three thousand porcelain river crabs make up an installation by Ai Weiwei at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. The exhibit is called “He Xie” which means river crabs but the word has the same Chinese pronunciation and spelling as the word for harmonious. Harmonious is internet slang in China for censorship.
These huge willow basketwork sculptures were made by Tom Hare and displayed in the open-air setting of Kew Gardens in London during September 2013. Inspired by a visit to Kew’s fungarium, the sculptor and artist created this work called “Fungi Fairy Ring” by weaving willows onto steel frames. Some of the willows were stripped of bark to achieve a whiter colour that suggests the pale parts of fungi; while other willows were boiled to give a darker appearance like that found in the gills. Altogether a very striking and apt display to enjoy on a late summer walk around Kew.
COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2014
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We swerved off and parked a while to get a closer look at this fantastic sculpture as we drove along the coast road between Annestown and Bunmahon in southern Ireland. The monumental block of limestone with brightly coloured mosaic inlays is called “Ice, Fire and Water” has been carved by Colette O’Brien. It stands overlooking Dunabrattin Head near Boatstrand, and symbolises the elemental forces that gave rise to this spectacular stretch of rocky shoreline, and celebrates the establishment of the Copper Coast Geopark of which it is a part.
COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2014
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A Maximis ad Minima is a sculpture by Eduardo Paolozzi in Kew Gardens, London, UK, meaning From the Greatest to the Least. It is a large bronze work composed of multiple abstract, figurative and mechanical elements assembled together on a shallow two tiered base. Includes rectangles, squares, planar, volumetric and curving forms, two feet, two hands (holding a set of cylindrical handles/gears), a geometric head, a sphere with geometric shapes cut out of it, discs, shafts, wheels and planks of wood. Mounted on a low stone plinth (VADS).
The message of the work may be obscure or open to interpretation but whatever one’s subjective intrepretation, the message is a powerful one – it certainly provokes both thought and emotion.
See also Head of Invention by the same sculptor.
COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2013
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