Where to put it? And why? Unlike a drawing or a painting, a sculpture has a very real relationship with the space around it. You see it, obviously, but you also see through it. This gives the sculptor enormous potential to play with meaning not only within the work in isolation, but also relative to it's context.
Historically, this has made sculpture the most obvious choice for public art, but it has also sprung from a really rich tradition of monumental, outdoor work in general. With the right piece, sensitively placed in relation to it's setting, the sculpture and the landscape can, quite simply, bring out the best in each other.
Not that all sculpture should be shown outdoors, by any means. Some smaller, more delicate work simply disappears against a larger, bolder, busier landscape. But Nature and the great outdoors provide the perfect backdrop for much of the rest. Particularly those working at a larger scale, and most particularly, for me, abstract sculpture. There's nothing so effectve as, say, a Hepworth against a large-scale backdrop - the forms cannot be read in the same way as the world around them, which means that they stand out against it. Even Moore, who sticks in general with more figurative forms, is effective because these figures are simplified, massive, a slave to their abstract formal qualities.
Given that most of my work is on the small side, I can generally enjoy exploring these ideas from the sidelines, apart from odd insecure moments wandering around the Yorkshire Sculpture Park when I wonder if Size Matters? And can I claim to be a proper sculptor if I don't work at large scale?
But the exhibition at Knebworth has thrown up some interesting questions about scale and form. Most importantly, does a sculptor have to change her sculptural language entirely to be effective at a larger scale? More to follow at a later date....