Friday, 8 May 2009

On the Anish Kapoor Trail - Brighton

We went off for a walk up to the Chattri high up on the downs overlooking Brighton to look at Anish Kapoor's C-Curve - a large shiny curved sculpture, concave on the northern face and curving in and convex on the southern face and curving out.


The sculpture is placed on a large concrete plinth and reflects the countryside around and the sky - which on the morning we were there was sunny with fast moving white clouds and so the sculpture was constantly changing. The concave face reflects the image upside down but also creates acoustic distortion if you speak near it. Presumably the siting of the sculpture at the Chattri has some meaning - it is said the sculpture relates to "the concepts of reflection, the infinite, life and death," - the Chattri is the memorial to the Sikh and Hindu soldiers who died in hospital in Brighton during the first world war and were cremate. It's a little walk from Clayton or Patcham to get to the Sculpture but well worth the hike.


We then went down to the Pavillion Gardens to have a look at the Sky Mirror - a convex mirrored disk which is positioned to reflect the sky. The pictures used by the festival to publicise this sculpture show a 3 story 35ft disk at New York's Rockerfeller Centre - huge and impressive, hemmed in by high buildings but bringing the sky down to New York's street level. In the Pavillion gardens this disk just didn't have the presence you'd expect, Brighton's is only about 6ft tall for one thing, you're not allowed to approach within 20 feet and it seems propped up in a shady corner, against a tree which is dropping debris on it. When we saw it, it was in the dark, dirty and small scale - the scale wasn't helped by the fact you couldn't approach the 'Sky Mirror' or the position which seemed to emphasise the small scale of this 'large' sculpture.

Sky Mirror

Finally we popped into Fabric to see the installations; 1000 names, 1979-1980 and Blood Relations - a collaboration with Salman Rusdie. A twin bronze chamber beautifully engraved with Salman Rushie's words on the outside and with visceral pigmented, wax and silicone 'innards'. We were shown around by a lovely Spanish? volunteer guide.

Blood Relations

Will try and get to the other sites over the next couple of weeks, but do get up on the downs to see the C-Curve I think it's beautiful but if nothing else you'll get a walk and great and unusual view over a strangely wooded Brighton.


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