By means of a vague distinction between land-art and op-art, the monotonous system of sixteen columns is activating multiple perspectives of a historically confined public space.
With two meters in diameter and six meters in height, every column is in fact an inhabitable room with a single entrance pointed to a different direction. The subtle confinement is diluted by a texture of rectangular cuts that oscillate between figure and ground.
The silent vibration of glimmering lights and shadows, together with the very indifference of the grid, is altered by three delicate motives drawn in the air by Swiss artist Felice Varini, which can only be seen towards precise vanishing points.
These bidimensional white drawings, directly painted on the frosted-like galvanized steel plates, as floating ghosts, are free forms overlapping their complexity in the central axis of the church’s nave.
Robust yet fragile, the industrial character of the surfaces is confused by the handmade painting. Thus the distinction between structural and decorative seems to be eroded. At least as a semantic problem, every column becomes a supporting pillar and every pillar an ornamental column.
A Hall for Hull is a joint commission by Hull 2017 and the Royal Institute of British Architects, supported by the Galvanizer and the British Council. The sculpture is part of ‘Look Up’ – a Hull 2017 curated programme of temporary installations in public places and spaces around the city. Further in-kind support has been given by Setworks, Constant Structural Design and RMIG.
Images © Pezo von Ellrichshausen