Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sculpture Heaven: A Vehicle for Departure, 1986

The art gallery in London sponsored a short walk around the gallery neighbourhood Saturday. A dozen people showed up for the walk and lecture. I was surprised by the very small turnout.

The work pictured stands on the gallery grounds. It is called Sculpture Heaven: A Vehicle for Departure, 1986. It was done by Stacey Speigel who described his work as "an urban prayer wheel" reminiscent of Tibetan Buddhist practice. The entire work can be rotated. I

Inside the piece, covering the floor of sculpture, are dried autumn leaves and pieces of acetate cut into leaf shapes. These plastic leaves were decorated by children with prayers from 180 different religious texts.

A lot of this explanation stuff runs completely counter to everything I was taught when studying art: First in Detroit at the Art School of Creative Studies and later at Ryerson in Toronto where I took a class taught by Ken Carpenter, a professor from York University and a well respected art critic with ties to Clement Greenberg. Carpenter was easily one of the finest professor I encountered during my years of art study.

Some day I will blog on why such lengthy explanations giving the why of a piece of art supplied by the artist are thought by many to be suspect. But today, I will simply share a photo of the piece with you and a little background.


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