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  • Writer's pictureRitchard Allaway

02/06/21 - Three Made Places - Clegg & Gormley (2005)

This post is just a simple 'what I have found whilst milling around the internet looking into field research some more'.

I found interest in this piece from Clegg and Gormley not due to its reflection on climate change but actually on its 'un-Earthly' appearance and aesthetic quality. Something about it gives off a sense of un-ease, wonder, mysticism, all feelings enveloped within the Arctic landscape. I am reminded of Stanley Kubrick's 2001:Space Odyssey and the monolith or even the mysterious appearing 2020 monolith that happened to situate itself within various locations around the world after originally announcing itself in the Utah desert. There is even a link to Richard Serra's East-West/West-East (2014) monumental sculpture located within the Qatar desert.

Something about the reaction Clegg and Gormley had to the Arctic initiated a reflection that was to represent human impact but instead gave appearance to an alien form. Maybe then humanity is the alien explorer venturing into the unknown Arctic. We may not be long there, that the Arctic is not our land to claim as our own and from what we create, whether it be an art form such as 'Three Made Places' (although made from the landscape) or (now abandoned) whaling stations etc, non of that 'belongs' to that landscape. The man-made is unnatural, uncanny and unfriendly.

Below I have listed an extract written by Gormley first and followed by Clegg cited from Cape Farewell.

Monday, 14 March 2005, 17:55pm - A. Gormley

'Individually the block indicates (whether we take it as a double carbon unit or not) a relationship between the individual body and planetary body-mass; a substantial equivalent for one material body, the luminous void chamber is a vertical space that indicates consciousness and the shelter establishes the necessity of a collective body. Together they constitute a continuum of places that the human needs to dwell in: the physical space of the body, the imaginative space of consciousness and the collective space of fellowship.

The first is material measure, the second dedicated to the imagination (and therefore physically unused) and the third useful and used. These three places are all MADE and do not seek to describe the body but indicate its place using the Euclidian geometry of architecture in an un-inscribed arctic environment.'

Friday, 18 March 2005, 3.15pm - P. Clegg

'Our discussions and reference points over the three day period ranged from the powerful primitive architectural forms of Egypt and Peru, Mycenae and Pylos, through to our experiences of the quarries at Bath and Carrara. We created a community of forms, - a primitive block cut from the virgin snow, a vertical standing room of similar proportions again related to the human dimensions, and a snow cave with a significant approach route and threshold, again based on orthogonal cuts into the organic drift of wind blown frozen snow. We found that we developed a strong relationship with the site, a longing to be out there digging and creating, whilst also absorbing the extraordinary scaleless white landscape that surrounded us. We were blessed with brilliant sunshine that provided intensely sharp and long shadows so that brought everything that we did into a higher resolution. We were delighted with the experience of what seemed like a 10º temperature difference between the inside and outside of the snow cave. It was essentially a sensory experience, working hard and playing hard to counteract the experience of being at -27ºC, and producing work that was derived from individual preoccupations and joint collaboration and the inspiration of site and material.'

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