Friday, 20 July 2012

BUPA House, Bury Street W1

This enormous sculpture by Peter Randall-Page stands outside the headquarters of the private healthcare giant BUPA in Bloomsbury. The medical connection makes its title, Beneath the Skin (1991), a little sinister, making one think of some horrible larva burrowing away. Or a major organ in need of surgery at one of BUPA's luxury hospitals.
Actually I like it a lot. It has proportion, shape and presence. The polished surface of the Kilkenny marble is fantastic, although the top has been over-polished by the bottoms of tourists resting on their way to the British Museum round the corner.
The black-and-white pattern in the background is also by Randall-Page, entitled Chain of Events (1996). It is in black granite inlaid into Portland stone.
Beneath the Skin is a good example of Randall-Page's early organic style, using natural shapes to create memorable images. Now he has moved on, investigating the way nature uses simple mathematical relationships such as the Fibonacci series to create complex structures like sunflowers or pine nuts. There is much more on his website.

No comments: