I am intrigued by sculpture! Wondering around London there is a lot of it and I have never really thought much about it. But that has changed over the last few months, and I am particularly interested in sculpture in public, outdoor settings. During the week I went to a brilliant exhibition at Somerset House, London called Out There: Our Post-War Public Art. It was fascinating as the public art reflects so much about social attitudes, ‘authorised’ attitudes – a way for official authorities to influence the public’s ideas about what they want us to value, or a reflection of what society deems important. More on those ideas in subsequent posts. But with ideas of public art, especially sculpture, whirling round my head, I thought I would go for a walk and see what I could see. And Cavendish Square, W1, was a real find!
I was especially taken with this sculpture by Naomi Press, called Solo II, made of polished stainless steel. I tried not to work out what it was, what the shapes were representing, but rather experience it. Its shiny surfaces were attractive in themselves, but the longer I lingered, the more the sculpture came alive as it reflected its surroundings – the shaft of sunlight quite dazzling the eyes; the trees reflected on its different surfaces and the grass fractioned and angled, and all the surroundings, buildings and people jigsawed on the different faces of the sculpture. And then it’s fun capturing yourself once or twice when you stand in a particular place, and then asking someone on the benches to take your picture. I overheard the chap’s little boy asking his Dad what the sculpture was all about! I don’t know that I could have answered him, but it would have been fun looking at it together, exploring the world through the mirrors of this sculpture.