City Sculpture Project Sheffield
- Henry Moore Institute
- Wednesday, 18 January 2017
- Kenneth Martin and Stewart Mason: a Personal Reflection. A lecture by Susan Tebby in the Institute's seminar room, starting at 6pm
In the second of our City Sculpture Projects 1972 lecture series, Prof. Susan Tebby (Independent; formerly De Montfort University) reflects on the work of Kenneth Martin and Stewart Mason:
‘Being an artist in the 1960s was heady stuff. I was Kenneth Martin’s assistant between 1966 and 1984 and worked with him on many projects, including City Sculpture Project, which began for us early in 1971. The interest and excitement in taking part in a nationwide siting of abstract sculptures, directly in the public eye, gathered momentum as the various stages of competition, site-selection, fabrication and final unveiling, took place. At the same time, I had become a lecturer in sculpture at Leicester Polytechnic. The Director of Education in Leicestershire was Stewart Mason who was the selector with Philip King, already a well-known sculptor, for the City Sculpture Project sculptors. Stewart Mason had been a remarkable advocate of placing contemporary sculpture in the grounds of many new schools in the county, and was now involved in higher education and the Tate in London. Public sculpture was revolutionising the way in which people saw and talked about, adjusted to, reacted and perhaps were repelled by, but also came to accept and even become possessive about “their” sculpture, in “their” city.’
The dynamics of selecting, making and placing Kenneth Martin’s sculpture in Sheffield, and its aftermath, will be discussed, within the general context of City Sculpture Project, including an unexpected meeting on a train in 1972 with Bernard Schottlander, and his sculpture ‘Untitled (Red)’, also in Sheffield, and a close encounter with John Panting’s ‘Flying Cross’, originally in Plymouth, which came to rest three miles down the road in Leicestershire. An assessment of the legacy of City Sculpture Project will also be offered.