Gavin Turk




One New Change




12m x 60cm (top120cm)

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  • Nail by Gavin Turk

    An oversized nail as a humble sculpture dwarfed between the gleam of 21st century glass and the ancient symbolic Cathedral at the heart of the city of London. The dialogue between these two monumental powerhouses with 300 years between them describes the extraordinary changes wrought by human culture in the intervening centuries. The religious echoes from the cathedral site dating back even further into the dark ages referenced in the bronze patina of this delicate contemporary sundial. The Artist like the Architect references his discipline and his era, The nostalgic nail in front of a building where this tiny iron building tool has become outmoded and replaced by more sophisticated modern fastenings, like the wooden joinery of our less binary selves.

    The nail is also a simple representation of absence. The picture removed from its hook. The material removed from the space around the nail. The negative space represented by the positive form of a bronze pin. The celestial body, with its religious connotations and its art historical references, like a flagpole in the public courtyard in front of the bustle of a busy centre of industry. Placed on a slight angle like the flagpole being erected at Iwo Jima, heroic and symbolic, this slender metal shaft with its round head minimally disrupts the sightlines whilst inspiring subconscious Iron Crown associations when looking up at the dome of St Paul's. From the other direction the tiny pin is about to be pulled out of the ground by the magnificent glass and steel claw hammer. The astronomical object built from clay by the artist encrusted with rust on a magnified scale will have a textural beauty up close as well as a surreal humour from a distance.