Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Mysterious sculptures outside the Doubletree Hotel: Who made them?

Every week, I cycle past these two sculptures on my way to the gym.  They flank the entrance to the Double Tree by Hilton hotel in Cambridge.  (It's that hotel on the river Cam, next to where you rent punts.  It used to be called the Cambridge Garden House Moat House Hotel, for those who remember that far back.)


It's easy to be snobbish about corporate sculpture.  Bland, pointless, smooth as the money used to pay for it, empty as a hotel bed just after the last guest has departed.

I was snobbish about it myself.  But then I stopped and really looked at these sculptures, and I found them to be surprisingly sweet.  They have now quite grown on me:  they're like two funny gnarled people, patiently standing there, day in, night out.

Left one

The left-hand one is made up of three articulated elements, with round smooth holes.

It looks at you like a beaky owl.

Close-up, it reveals an interesting surface and a twisted three-dimensionality.


Right one

The right-hand one is a smooth white flame, with two holes.


It reminds me of Henry Moore.  Or of Barbara Hepworth.


I wonder who made them?  No signature is carved into their stone bellies; no plaque reveals their names.  Nobody in the hotel had any idea.  Hotel staff suggested to me that I write to the Ability Group who own this hotel chain; I did so a few months ago but haven't had a reply.

I'm not fabulous on materials, either.  Is this a local stone?  Is it granite, marble, concrete?  

So if you have an idea who might have sculpted these, or what their rightful titles are, or the date they were made -- do let me know!

What?  Two stone sculptures.  
When?  I'm guessing 1960s but could be any time between 1930 and 1990, really.
Where?  Outside the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, Granta Place (opposite the Grad Pad).  Go to Scudamore's and keep walking towards Coe Fen.

Related post:

Mysterious Cambridge rocks at the Classics Faculty:  Who is the sculptor?


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