by Tony Cragg for SCAPE Public Art Season 2018
Mixed Feelings 2012 will be in residence at Christ’s College Quadrangle, a grass canvas that has become familiar to the annual presentations of SCAPE. The piece is an immense glowing monument, formed by two intertwining bronze towers, pushing together and pulling apart as they spiral towards the sky. As the viewer circles the piece, human profiles come into and out of focus. Each tower of feeling exerts a gravitational pull on the other, creating a unique, pulsating form of energy. It is a large-scale 5.5m bronze sculpture.
Previously exhibited in London, Prague and Amsterdam amongst others, the artwork is on loan to SCAPE Public Art courtesy of the Gow Langsford Gallery in Auckland who have built a relationship with the artist over many years. A crucial piece to the success of this project was the vision and dedication of one of the Founding Directors Gary Langsford MNZM, to bring the artwork to Christchurch.
Turner Prize-winning sculptor Tony Cragg emerged in the late 1970s with a bold practice that questioned and tested the limits of a wide variety of traditional sculptural materials, including bronze, steel, glass, wood, and stone. “I’m an absolute materialist, and for me material is exciting and ultimately sublime,” he has said. Eschewing factory fabrication of his works, Cragg has been known to merge contemporary industrial materials with the suggestion of the functional forms of mundane objects and ancient vessels – like jars, bottles, and test tubes – resulting in sublime, sinuous, and twisting forms. When I’m involved in making sculpture, I’m looking for a system of belief or ethics in the material,” he says. “I want that material to have a dynamic, to push and move and grow”.