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Eden Project - ‘Seed’, by Peter Randall-Page

FOR THE CORE, EDUCATION BUILDING, EDEN PROJECT, CORNWALL


photo credit: Marc Hill (07831 379972)

Sir Nicholas Grimshaw, Architech on the Eden Project and President of the Royal Academy of Arts, has said: "I think it is a wonderful thing when a work of art and a building come together like this. The geometry generated from the Fibonacci series unites the two but until Peter's wonderful sculpture arrives the building seems to lack a vital organ."

‘Seed’
Peter Randall-Page’s latest work is a huge seed-like granite sculpture carved with a complex, pattern based upon the geometric and mathematical principles which underlie plant growth.

Installation
During the weekend of 9th and 10th June, the 70 tonne granite sculpture will be transported from De Lank Quarry on Bodmin Moor (where it was quarried and carved) to the Eden Project. The journey will involve road closures and strengthening of bridges.

On 11th June 'Seed' will be lowered by crane through the roof of the Eden Project’s education building, (known as The Core), to sit within the bell-shaped chamber specifically designed and built to receive it.

The sculpture will be officially opened 3.30pm, 21st June and subsequently visitors to the Eden Project will be able to experience the stone within its chamber.
 
The sculpture all but fills the chamber
It has been a long-standing ambition of Randall-Page to make a sculpture whose mass would almost totally fill an architectural space.
 
Like Magritte‘s painting ‘The Listening Room‘ in which an over-sized apple fills a room, there will be a surreal dimension to the experience of seeing ‘Seed‘ occupying the space and coming to within 250 cm of the walls of the chamber.

The monumental ‘Seed’ makes a play on scale offering an Alice in Wonderland-like experience: Alice who grows to fill a room and also shrinks to be dwarfed by ordinary objects.

The Chamber
In the manner of Rothko, who stipulated the dimensions and light conditions of the rooms in which his work should be seen, the chamber and art work were conceived as one.

Randall-Page wanted to separate this inner sanctum from the bustle outside to give the chamber a meditative and contemplative quality. ‘Seed’ will be lit by natural daylight filtering down through the central aperture. The changing weather and seasons will play across the sculpture’s undulating surface.

Art and Architecture
From the outset, Peter Randall-Page worked closely with Jolyon Brewis of Grimshaw architects, who previously designed the now iconic Eden biomes.

Jolyon Brewis has said  ‘Seed’ was not only a fitting centrepiece for the building but was a crucial part of it:

“The design of this building has been a true collaboration between architects and an artist. Peter Randall-Page has been involved in setting the geometry of the structure as well as the design of the sculpture inside.

“The roof of the building is based on spiral geometries found in nature. They can be seen in the heads of sunflowers and many other plants. They are linked to the system of proportion used in classical architecture and have a well-known mathematical basis.

Peter’s sculpture will sit in a specially designed room at the heart of the building and will be carved with the same pattern of spirals. This will be much more than a sculpture inside a building. Art and architecture combine in a way that is rarely achieved. This should be one of the finest rooms in the world.”

The making of the sculpture

  • ‘Seed’ has been 4 years in the making.
  • After a long search for a suitable stone, a 167 tonne block of Cornish granite was specially quarried.
  • The mapping of the Fibonacci-based, spiral phyllotaxis onto the stone was a complex process; involving a balance between geometric accuracy and organic freedom.

Peter Randall-Page - career

  • Peter's monumental sculpture ‘Give and Take’ received the Marsh Award for Public Sculpture 2006
  • He has undertaken numerous international exhibitions and commissions in countries including Japan, Germany, Italy, South Korea and the USA.
  • His most recent large-scale commission, ‘Mind’s Eye’, was for the Psychology Department at the University of Cardiff.
  • He is currently engaged on a public commission for central Cambridge and working towards an exhibition next year at the New Arts Centre, Roche Court.

A book about Peter Randall-Page’s work with an essay by Steve Connor will be published by Cameron Books in Spring 2008.

Contacts:    

Peter Randall-Page is happy to do interviews and any further information can be supplied by his studio or on www.peterrandall-page.com

E:

T:

+44 ( 0)1647 281270

W:

www.peterrandall-page.com

 

 

David Rowe (Press Officer) Eden Project can arrange photo opportunities etc

E:

T:

+44 ( 0)1726 811901

W:

www.edenproject.com

 

 

Peter Randall-Page
photo credit: Mike Smallcombe (07860 458 003

 

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