St Paul's Churchyard
On top of a number of pillars a face is superimposed. The eyes, nose and mouth are surrounded by coarse hair. The face radiates self-confidence, strength and sympathy.
To me, a column is an important supporting element of a building with a social or religious function. By putting a face on a pedestal, I am thinking of the people who shaped this social or religious function.
The face is carved out of stone. The eyes, cheeks and mouth are smoothed and polished. The nose is slightly violated, the chin is notched, the cheeks are damaged. A portion of the face is still hidden in the stone. The left and right side-head are partly missing and the hair is schematically carved in the material but not cut yet.
It seems as if the face is still in the making. Also, it seems that the face is old, damaged by time and found again after centuries. Is this a face that is in progress or is it placed back on the pedestal after centuries?
Multiple columns stand on a square near the church. Therefore, a comparison with columns of the church is easy made. The question is whether the artist intended it.
This work has the potential to say meaningful things about the role of the European tradition because it combines elements from this tradition creatively.
Compared with other works
Everyone knows intuitively that an Egyptian obelisk (Paris, picture 1) is about human strength, intelligence, connecting earth and heaven. It is not necessary to delve into the vanity and the ubiquitous role of religion during the creation of the artwork.
This needle (Paris, Bergeret Pierre, picture 2) concerns obviously the role of the ruler, his victories and longing for immortality that the artwork becomes complacent and loses sight of the social context. The artistic qualities of the artwork have a serving character or are underexposed.
Eric Orr shows with the artwork Prime Matter (Los Angeles, picture 3, more information
) that humans control nature; lights the fire when and where humans wants. There is a pillar of natural stone and there is natural fire. This is a powerful and great artwork. The only thing; to me, fire is a too fierce primary power to be part of subtle art.
Iosa Ghini Massimo has made with Quattro Punti Per Una Torre (Milan, picture 4, more information
) a significant, eye-catching artwork. The monumental form opens itself careful and shows the tingle interior. The sculpture stands in a courtyard of a university. Should the university recognize the desire to be strong and still be open, vulnerable and also demonstrate vitality?
Nike 89 made by Wieland Foester (Berlin, picture 5, more information
) is not a perfect angel, but rather a touchingly sweet person. You see wings, the sculpture is silvered, so it must be a special person. At the same time the rough finish and strange shapes make it clear that it’s human to make mistakes.
Emily Young works in a traditional free carving method of stone sculpting. She is best known for her distinctive angel heads and discs. Of the angels she has said, ‘The looks on the faces of the angels are not planned as such, they arrive and surprise me often with their softness and sadness, and strength and calm. But like all good angels, they have a certain graveness, an objectivity, a touch of the infinite, and a certain compassion.’ Of her discs she has said, ‘The discs, lunar or solar, are also like angels, heavenly bodies, stars, whirling in dark space, carrying information about our origins and throwing out light to us.’ ‘Emily Young’s work is characterized by the highly individual way in which it combines strength with gentleness. Her sculptures are massive, often chthonic, but their contours are rounded as if moulded by a lover’s hand rather than chiseled out by steel.’ Louis de Bernieres (novelist) Emily Young has exhibited widely and her public installations include the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, St Paul’s Churchyard (London), Salisbury Cathedral, and La Defence (Paris).
This project involved the construction of 5 large stone columns in a central London location.
Polly Tikkle Productions:
Emily Young is the artist who sculpted the five angels who overlook St Paul's Courtyard, currently the site of the Occupy London Stock Exchange protest. Here she speaks about her sculptures as she sees them in a new light.