I don't really have great expectations of sculpture when it comes to the Summer Exhibition, with a few memorable exceptions. This year's courtyard piece is quite something - public art at its best: spectacular, beautiful, entertaining, and thought-provoking. Ron Arad's Spyre is ingenious - the camera eye at the pinnacle sees, and what it sees is shown on a large screen. (Please forgive my inadequate snaps.)
Inside the exhibition I found that as in most years the majority of sculpture tends to become an obstacle while wandering backwards craning to see the works high on the walls. My introduction to the work of the marvellous sculptor David Nash many years ago was by badly grazing my calf on a piece of his. This year his piece Big Black was awarded the Charles Wollaston Prize as being the most distinguished work in the exhibition.
It is a wondrous piece, but hardly looks its best in a small-ish crowded room. The photo here shows it without the packed walls and the many visitors. Nevertheless it did provide a lovely backdrop for a man taking a photo of his wife. Hmmmm!
Similarly, Peter Randall-Page's Inside Out provided another obstacle, not only getting in the way of seeing the works on the walls (especially given there are three parts), but also not being in a position to receive the admiration they deserve.
I am a great admirer of his work, however, and was delighted to see beautiful examples on the walls:
Sap River V ink drawing
Tarantella I screenprint
Tarantella II screenprint
Source Seed IV ink drawing
You see that once more I was drawn to the graphics and simply stepped round the big pieces and the plinths. Shame on me, but only on many visits could I realistically look at everything. This year I enjoyed the prints and works on paper most, and I shall continue my posts with them.