Royal College of Art MA Sculpture students to showcase work in Battersea Park - FAD Magazine

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Royal College of Art MA Sculpture students to showcase work in Battersea Park

Students from the Royal College of Art’s MA Sculpture programme have been invited to develop artworks for temporary display in Battersea Park. The five works, created by five separate groups of six students, will be installed at the site of the Barbara Hepworth sculpture Single Form (Memorial), which is on loan during 2022. 

Royal College of Art MA Sculpture students to showcase work in Battersea Park
The Locuscope on display in Battersea Park, credit Gabriel James Mansfield

We are delighted to have such a prominent public platform for our MA Sculpture students to produce contemporary and site specific works that respond to the conceptual, formal and historical framework of the Park as a public, open and green space in Wandsworth.

Jaspar Joseph-Lester, Head of Programme, MA Sculpture, RCA,

The project is a collaboration between the Royal College of Art (RCA), Wandsworth Borough Council, Enable Leisure and Culture, Friends of Battersea Park and The Battersea Society, and the students’ sculptures will be on display in the park from June to September this year, rotating every few weeks. The contributing students are delivering their projects with guidance and support from Jaspar Joseph-Lester (Head of Programme, MA Sculpture), Joanne Tatham (Reader in Contemporary Art) and Hannah Lambert (Community Engagement Manager).

Barbara Hepworth, who graduated with a Diploma in Fine Art from the RCA in 1923, made Single Form (Memorial) in response to the death of her friend, Dag Hammarskjöld, Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1953-61, who died en route to a peace mission in Africa. The bronze in Battersea Park was cast from a plaster prototype to be exhibited as part of London County Council’s (LCC) ‘Sculpture: Open-air Exhibition’, held in Battersea Park from May – September 1963.

I’m delighted that, while Single Form (Memorial) is on show in Amsterdam, a very imaginative programme has been devised for its site in Battersea Park this summer. Barbara was herself a sculpture student at the RCA in the 1920s so this project has an extra resonance. She also tried to support younger artists in St Ives whom she admired. I look forward very much to seeing the work of this new generation of sculptors.

Sophie Bowness, the Barbara Hepworth Estate and Guest Curator of Barbara Hepworth in the Rijksmuseum Gardens


From w/c 6 June

The Locuscope by Gabriel Mansfield, Shirley Renwick, Yuqing Shi & Yue Yin

This sensory dome has been inspired by the circular void that punctuates Barbara Hepworth’s ‘Single Form (Memorial)’ sculpture. The dome provides multiple viewpoints to witness the activity of the surrounding area, by peering through to the opposite side or upon the tessellated mirror surface.  The form of the structure echoes prehistoric human round houses or bird nests – where perhaps a sense of security stems from the ability to look out in all directions. The voids allow the environment to pass through – light and wind, flora and fauna. The dome is entirely constructed from recycled or repurposed materials. From the 3-metre steel frame that once sat in a children’s playground, to the mirror cladding that once lined the hallways of the Royal College of Art. ‘The Locuscope’ amalgamates the word ‘locus’ with the suffix ‘scope’ to describe a device that encourages a contemplative examination of its location. With thanks to Thrive in Battersea Park for the generous donation of plants. 

From w/c 4 July

The Visible Invisible by Blythe Plenderleith, Carlota Bulgari, Junchao Ren, Ioana Maria Sisea, Sarra Badel & Ziwei Wang

This project plays with the viewer’s perception of absence and presence using the technique of lenticular printing. The sculpture deals with ideas of memory, time and nostalgia, as images appear from one angle but become invisible from another.

From w/c 25 July

Memorial for a Memorial by Francesca Dobbe, Shiyao Liu, Christopher Simpson, Annie Trevorah, Yunpeng Wang & Jasmin Saya Young

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the completion of Hepworth’s Single Form (Memorial) (in Feb 1962) and Group 3’s Memorial For A Memorial installation will pay tribute to Hepworth through a concept based on the empty space left behind from the absent sculpture. Drawing inspiration from the negative space, the group focuses on the hole/circle as a window to nature to maximise the view across the lake and by incorporating a shaped bench, the sculpture invites interaction from the public. The bold red structure is made from recycled wood.

From w/c 29 August

Making Marks by Irena Posner, Aliya Orr, Duoduo Huang, Veronica Smith, Yuanze Che

Starting from Barbara Hepworth’s ideas around utopian, spiritual and metaphysical relationships of humanity to nature, Making Marks will explore animal interactions with the arts through a vertical grass-based sculpture that dogs can engage with on their daily walk through Battersea Park.

From w/c 12 September

Reflected Perspective by Jacob Talkowski, Yumeng Zang, Zhaobo Yang, Alice Dawson & Rachel Bungey

This piece is a series of three laser cut acrylic mirror sheets held in the open air above a ‘platform’ by individual industrial steel scaffolding tubes. The group hopes by bringing the local natural world of the park into focus, they will help break down the climate crisis from a large structural issue to something local and relevant to a group who may be dealing with strong feelings of climate anxiety.



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