Sculpture – turning a moment in time into something solid

I’ve just been watching a program in the BBC series ‘What Do Artists Do All Day‘ with Antony Gormley the sculptor. It was fascinating, as are all the programs in the series, and he had a lot of interesting things to say: his website has a lot of reading matter about his thoughts as well as images of his work (look under ‘resources’) if you’re interested.

The thing which struck me was a comment, and I can’t actually quote this properly, along the lines of sculpture being about taking a fleeting moment in time and turning it into something adamantine. I loved that, the idea that when we look at a sculpted figure what we’re looking at is a fraction of a fraction of a second which has been turned into something permanent which isn’t going to change for decades, if not centuries. It’s a joke that in Bernini’s Ecstasy of St Theresa the poor girl has been five seconds from finishing for 350 years now, but it’s true of any sculpture..or indeed of any work of art either figurative or abstract.

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