Public invited to help choose winner of University of Birmingham sculpture competition
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Public invited to help choose winner of University of Birmingham sculpture competition
Arts & Science Sculpture Commission exhibition at University of Birmingham.

BIRMINGHAM.- The public is invited to help choose the winner of a prestigious sculpture competition at the University of Birmingham.

The sculpture will bring together themes of arts and science, and will be situated in the brand new campus parkland, the Green Heart, at the University.

After an open call, four locally-based artists have been shortlisted, and small-scale models of their proposed sculpture are currently on display at the University.

Andrew Gillespie proposes to re-make a pacemaker from the University’s extensive collection. Taking a device which is usually concealed inside the body and displaying it in a public space, Andrew hopes to draw new attention to the clever design of a pacemaker – streamlined, simple and abstract in appearance – and reveal its life-giving function, drawing parallels with contemporary sculpture.

Hipkiss and Graney, an artist duo, are designing a sculpture that projects a holographic representation of a lecturer, with a soundscape to match. Their work seeks to create a new, hopeful and empowering narrative about the future of the planet.

Intervention Architecture propose to build an intimate viewing device which passers-by can use to closely observe the Green Heart parkland. The sculpture will be hollow and rotate, enabling viewers to experience the growing flora and fauna through a series of apertures.

Finally, Juneau Projects would like to build a wooden tower, filled with nooks and crannies and decorated with organic imagery inspired by conversations with staff and students at University of Birmingham. The structure will be treated to encourage the growth of moss and bryophytes, in turn encouraging wildlife to set up home on the tower. The sculpture will help focus attention on these tiny plants and their important role in ecology.

The public vote will be taken into consideration by an invited panel of experts, who will decide the winning sculpture. The sculpture will be unveiled in spring 2020.

Clare Mullett, Director of Culture and Engagement at the University of Birmingham commented, “Art is a vital part of University life, animating the spaces where people work, relax and study. The University of Birmingham, since its earliest days, has worked with leading artists, makers and architects to create its distinctive campus. The Arts & Science Sculpture Commission continues to build on this outstanding cultural heritage. The commission explores arts and science, overlooking the traditional divisions between them, and instead finding ways in which each discipline can inform the other, spark debate and bring about new understandings of the world around us.”

You can vote for your favourite sculpture on the Arts & Science website:

Visitors can find out more about the four shortlisted proposals in an exhibition in the Rotunda Gallery, Aston Webb Building, University of Birmingham, which is FREE to enter and runs until 11 October 2019. The small-scale models are currently on display in the Green Heart, next to Muirhead Tower.

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