Placing Plensa at YSP
30th March 2011
The exhibition of works by Catalonian artist Jaume Plensa will run from 9 April 2011 untill 25 September 2011 at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
This is an extraordinary body of new and recent work encouraging tactile and sensory exploration. This vibrant exhibition will include a 50-metre curtain of poetry made of suspended steel letters, large illuminated sculptures in the landscape, and engraved gongs that visitors can strike to fill the gallery with sound.
Jaume Plensa installing work at Yorkshire Sculpture Park today.
'The Heart of Trees'. The artists self portrait is embracing a tree. A tree joins heaven to earth with its roots in the ground and branches in the sky. Jaume Plensa specified that the trees sourced for this work needed to look like trees that children might have drawn. This hybrid cherry tree fits the bill.
Music, poetry and light are central to Jaume Plensa's work being put into place here at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. The names of composers adorn these contemplative bronze figures.
The organic mesh of the large wire frame heads of 'Irma - Nuria', the portrait of two girls, have been placed on top of the gallery where they will change as your relationship to them changes and the play of light changes through the day as the sun moves accross the sky and clouds come and go. By seeing through to the other side of a volume, something that is usually invisible to our eyes is made visible here.
'Souls and Kneeling Shadow' - and a wheelbarrow of turf. The turf that is being placed around the sculptures has been grown to be very tough and resilient. The metaphor of the Foundation Stone is of course that around it they built the temple; around the temple the city; around the city the country; around the country ... etc, untill the whole universe is included. From the smallest to the greatest. It is the same for the worlds great texts, each great work must start with a single letter. If someone sits on the stone next to the figure made of letters then they too become part of the sculpture and so the universe.
The two figures from the work 'Spiegel' wait their turn to be assembled. Letters on the large human forms are from eight alphabets: Hebrew, Arabic, Greek, Cyrillic, Latin, Hindi, Chinese and Japanese.
'In the Midst of Dreams' 2009 waiting to be unwrapped and switched on.
'Jerusalem' 2006, a series of 11 huge gongs engraved with words from 'The Song of Songs' being hung in one of the gallery spaces.
A special rail has been designed and installed in the gallery to hang the gongs and place the lighting units. The lights have been configured to meet the requirements of the work and that has meant that the technicians have had to combine elements from different makes of light units to achieve the precise effect.
Not untill all the gongs have been maticulously placed and hung in the space will we be able to fully appreciate the work and the technical precision required to achieve it. Visitors to the gallery can hit the gongs and the room will be filled with sound.
'I, You, She or He' 2009 have found their place. In a few short days the cranes will have gone, the men at work signs will have been put away and the exhibition will be open to the public.