On a miserable December day in 2012, I found this ugly sculpture:
It sits in the Cambridge Retail Park on Newmarket Road, and it's as grim as the grim grey skies of winter.
Now the Retail Park could certainly do with some public art to brighten it up, to lend interest, to allow our minds and senses to settle on something other than chain stores and parking bays.
Sadly, this isn't the sculpture to do that job.
To my eyes, it has no distinct silhouette or shape. A spire?
On top of a sort of blob?
And why is the spire striped? There is an attempt here to create textural interest, to contrast smooth and striated -- but the contrast is so harsh, and the horizontal lines going half-way up the spire seem so half-hearted.
I love rust. Rust can be magnificent: it is on the Chapman brothers' dinosaurs; it is on Richard Serra's sculptures.
Here, though, it is not. Magnificent, that is.
And what are these diagonal lines, incised into marble? (Or is it granite?) Why the contrast in materials?
And is this a giant sundial?
Or an elaborate outdoor bench?
I attempted to impart some atmosphere into this object by instagramming it with a sepia filter:
To no avail. The pointy blob is as miserable as ever.
I suppose its one redeeming feature is the fact that it does fit in very successfully with its environment. It is, alas, as depressing as its surroundings.
Who sculpted it? I haven't been able to discover the artist's name nor the work's title. If you know, leave a comment or email me!!
And if you happen to love this thing: please do defend it!
Have a lovely longest day of the year!