Thursday, 20 June 2013

Ugly sculpture on Newmarket Road

I know it's the first day of summer and that we yearn for sun and soft breezes, and that in art it can be lovely to gaze only at beautiful things.  But not all art is rainbows and unicorns, and not all climes are blue skies.

On a miserable December day in 2012, I found this ugly sculpture:

newmarket sc08 milieu

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.

newmarket sc07 spire

To my eyes, it has no distinct silhouette or shape.   A spire?

newmarket sc06 detail view

On top of a sort of blob?

newmarket sc03 detail

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.

newmarket sc05 detail rust

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.

newmarket sc04 detail2

And what are these diagonal lines, incised into marble?  (Or is it granite?)  Why the contrast in materials?

And is this a giant sundial?

newmarket sc01

Or an elaborate outdoor bench?

I attempted to impart some atmosphere into this object by instagramming it with a sepia filter:

newmarket sc02 instagrammed

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!

Other posts:

Have a lovely longest day of the year!

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