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Site Specific Artist Anish Kapoor

Updated: Feb 28, 2020

Dismemberment 2009

Gibbs Farm

Whilst looking at the works of Anish Kapoor I was captured by his use of scale and the blend of materials used in conjunction with the correct colour palate to turn these sculptures into an almost living biological sculpture. The one piece that seemed to resonate the most with myself is Dismemberment at Gibbs Farm. The whole scale and visual of the piece are truly amazing and then once researching into the piece and finding out how and why it was created makes this piece so much more impressive.

Dismemberment 2009 Gibbs Farm

Anish stated his first challenge was on a personal basis as he wanted his creation at Gibbs Garm to outshine all the other work that where currently there. Anish spent days travelling the farm with its owner Alan Gibbs as Alan had a better understanding of the lay out of the land as it spans over 990 acres.

Studying the land Anish wanted to create a piece that linked the sky and the earth and felt it had to be no linear geometrically the same as a leaf’s curvature or of the shape of a flower and even to go on to state the links to the universe. His biggest problem is the 3d mathematical realities when coming to design his art piece.

As he started his sketches for Gibbs Farm, he was following his idea that to create new art you must make new from new space. There was only one site in the Gibbs Farm that Anish decided would fit what he had temporally envisioned in his head, this was a ridge that that had two peaks that he believed the piece could sit in between the ridge or go through the ridge leaving the peaks intact, going through seemed the strongest option

During my research I was unable to find a final drawing of the design but in a short video with Anish there was a model of the final piece and this was going through the ridge, but when Alan seen the piece without it going through the ridge as the model had a lift off top both him and Anish where now unsure on which version was best.

Anish was always for the idea of it going through the ridge as this represented going into hell and below. by creating the sculpture with two viable options Anish spent a lot of time revisiting the site and the model seeing how either design would work within its environment. As the finished piece had to feel like it was part of the ridge originally.

Anish had drawn inspiration for the piece from two of his previous works Tarantara in Naples 1999 and melancholia Belgium 2004. In both of these pieces Anish used red to signify life, a skin sack, muscle and even sexual feel. The piece was originally going to be thirty metres tall that the equivalent of a twelve-story building as he felt scale and geometry add a mystery that’s surprising and unexpected.

Due to finance Anish and Alan looked over the site and used guides to see how the sculpture would look if they reduced the scale down to twenty-five metres in height, both agreed that it wouldn’t affect the sculpture as the scale of twenty-five metres seemed more then sufficient. But Anish was hard pushed at first to agree to this.

Now that all the formalities had been dealt with work started in June 2008 almost four years from the first sketches. Digging the foundations for this sculpture was a massive task in its self as forty-eight tons of steel where used during the construction. There was over five tonnes of material used to create the sculpture and the material had steel rods inserted through ridges on the outside to help support the structure.

When you look at these ridges now, they seem to add to the feel of the sculpture making it feel like its flesh has been peeled off from my personal point of view. It took over 100 men to move this material into place due to the weight as it had to be moved by hand so it wouldn’t be damaged.

The rings that is pivoted at the bottom of the sculpture weighs over forty-five tonnes and both are meant to weigh roughly the same that makes the sculpture itself over ninety-five tonnes in weight. The way it is situated the wind travels through the sculpture so it has been tied down with steel rope that can with stand up to one hundred mile per hour winds. Fingers crossed they don’t have any extreme wind as it could stretch out the steel cables that are ridged thought the sculpture.

The sculpture size in total is twenty-five metres by eight metres with a total length of 85 metres. This is the largest outdoor sculpture by Anish I find this to be his most stunning piece as by placing it in nature it allows you view from so many different angles and Anish states that it seem to change its form as you move around it.

Visually from Ariel photos it looks like a musical instrument yet when I see it from ground photos it completely changes its form into something different and it looks like it snakes around the hill and looks like it could bleed. Then from the front and back it has a sexual vibe as you look into complete darkness inside.

This piece links to my site-specific work due trying to create an art piece on a large scale. The scale also represents the whole thought process behind my work. Secondly having a piece of art work that when viewed from different angles creates a completely different visual, that shows the hidden meaning within its structure.

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