I spent a day away from the workshop on Tuesday, visiting the Modern British Sculpture exhibition at the RA, and try to be disciplined in making these occasional expeditions, as they are a great tonic. I love the train journey filled with expectation.
The exhibition was set out in twelve different rooms, each having their own focus. The intention of the curators Penelope Curtis and Keith Wilson was to address a specific problem, aspiration or confrontation experienced by sculptors during the twentieth century - questioning: What is British? What is Modern? What is sculpture?
The most exciting area for me was the 'Theft by Finding' room - through the dark walled, dimly lit space, came illuminated icons from a wide variety of cultures and ancient fragments brimming with aesthetic power and beauty, and beside them work of British sculptors influenced by these pieces.
Forepart of a running leopard - Halicarnassus - marble c.350 bc
Sanchi Torso - India - red sandstone c.900
Duck Weight - Neo-Sumerian - Granite C. 21500-2000 bc
Seated Torso - Frank Dobson - Ham Hill stone - 1923
Angel (hand), Angel (wing) - Ivan Mestrovic - Walnut - 1916
My eyes saturated and mind full of sculpture I made my way back to Kings Cross, and was unaware of the journey home - pondering, creating, feeling inspired, motivated, so alive and awake.
I've learned quite a lot from this exhibition, and I'm already organising my next trip - a lot of the pieces I loved were borrowed from the British Museum, and I must make another visit there.