A new sculpture by Antony Gormley will be unveiled at Imperial College London’s South Kensington Campus.
Made by one of the UK’s most celebrated artists, the 6-metre-high sculpture uses stacked and cantilevered blocks of weathering steel to evoke the human form.
Speaking on the sculpture, Antony Gormley said: “Through the conversion of anatomy into an architectural construction I want to re-assess the relation between body and space. Balancing on the balls of the feet while squatting on its haunches and surveying the world around it the attitude of this sculpture is alive, alert and awake.”
"Through the conversion of anatomy into an architectural construction I want to re-assess the relation between body and space." Antony Gormley
Made of weathering steel it will form a stable oxide coating and an organic hue over time.
“The piece acts with the changing nature of the trees. In the summer the deep red oxidised surface will contrast with the vivid green of the plane trees’ leaves and in the winter its orthogonal geometry will act in consort with the organic inscription of their boughs.”
ALERT will occupy a central position on Imperial College Road at Imperial's South Kensington campus. It will be accessible to both Imperial’s community and members of the public alike, adding to the cultural richness of the area.
The sculpture was gifted to the College by alumnus Brahmal Vasudevan (Aeronautical Engineering, 1990), founder and CEO of private equity firm Creador, and his wife Shanthi Kandiah, founder of legal firm SK Chambers.
Gormley’s previous works include the Angel of the North in Gateshead, Another Place on Merseyside’s Crosby Beach and the large-scale sculpture installation Event Horizon, first displayed in London and later in New York, downtown São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
"We are grateful to Brahmal Vasudevan and Shanthi Kandiah for giving Imperial the opportunity to be the setting for a striking new artwork by one of the UK’s foremost living artists." Professor Hugh Brady President of Imperial College London
Brahmal Vasudevan and Shanthi Kandiah are longstanding supporters of Imperial, having made several major donations over the years. Their previous philanthropy includes gifts of £1.25 million to establish the Brahmal Vasudevan Multi Terrain Aerial Robotics Arena in the Department of Aeronautics and £25 million, one of the largest gifts in the College’s history, to establish the Brahmal Vasudevan Institute for Sustainable Aviation.
This latest gift of art aims to enrich the College’s campus, drawing in visitors and providing a point of interest and intrigue to the recently enhanced public spaces around Dangoor Plaza.
Professor Hugh Brady, President of Imperial College London, said: “South Kensington is one of the world's most celebrated cultural districts, and the fusion of art and science has always been at its core. We are grateful to Brahmal Vasudevan and Shanthi Kandiah for giving Imperial the opportunity to be the setting for a striking new artwork by one of the UK’s foremost living artists.”Brahmal Vasudevan and Shanthi Kandiah said: “As a result of Prince Albert’s vision 150 years ago, South Kensington has become an extraordinary area focused on unifying the arts and sciences. We have always had great respect and admiration for what the College stands for, its philosophy and focus on research across science, engineering, medicine and business.
"In the last few years we have gained an enormous appreciation for the work of Antony Gormley, both for his practice and the science behind his philosophies that he subsequently applies to his work. We felt that uniting the two would bring the best of British art and technology together to further cement the area as one of the most vibrant cultural quarters for future generations.”
They added: “We are pleased to have worked with JJS Fine Art Ltd, the Gormley studio, White Cube and Imperial College London to bring this project to life. We wish for ALERT to be a lasting reminder to the community of the vital importance of collaboration across disciplines. We are both so delighted and excited to see the sculpture finally installed here on Imperial College Road.”
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