Social Artist and Creative Collaborator Lloyd Davis studies Ben Dearnley’s sculpture of a torso holding a fencing foil (based on Olympian Alex O’Connell who competed with the GB fencing team in 2008) as part of ‘Avenue of Champions’ exhibition hosted by Salisbury Cathedral
According to the artist (whose Dad was once Director of Music at the Cathedral) “My work here is an exploration into the world of some of the UK’s top Olympic and Paralympics athletes. I wanted to create a series of sculptures which honour and celebrate their achievements and reflect their individual commitment and excellence within their sport. The sculptures hold something of the power zone of each individual athlete, which I see as pivotal to them being the best in the world at what they do. As such each work is a collaboration between athlete and sculptor, understanding their body’s action and capturing the ‘moment’ in a fragmented form.”
I wonder how Ben feels about the fact that there is an incongrous lump of ‘blue tack’ on the end of the fencing foil? (Oh and the typo under the Oscar Pistorius bronze)
Although each torso was beautifully cast, and each cast a different hue or metal content, for me they were ultimately torsos and could have belonged to anyone. Of all the pieces, the only one that had any significance or meaning in terms of ‘champions’ and ‘olympic’ was the piece based on Lee Pearson, three times ‘Dressage’ Olympian which was a two sided, stone sculpture and an immensley provoking piece, conveying to me not only the power, the relationship between human and horse but also what it is that a paralympian, through their training, committment and focus might experience when working with horses. A shared sense of partnership, reliance, strength and control.