Potential Architecture - Gazing Ball

Date: 2018
Ref: 1257
Materials: Steel, marble, bronze
Dimensions: 503 (h) x 250 cm
Exhibition history: Permanently Located at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, since 2019
Courtesy: Lucy + Jorge Orta. Photography Chris Lacey and Jonty Wilde

"Gazing Ball" was originally commissioned for the exhbition Folly! 2018 for the World Heritage Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Gardens, one of the National Trust’s most prestigious and well visited locations.

Lucy + Jorge Orta have re-imagined the Rotunda Folly, a classical Ionic temple once located by the Banqueting House. Their contemporary interpretation of this eighteenth-century folly draws from their body of work Totipotent Architecture, to exlore new potentials and functions for lost or abandoned architecture.

The artists have purposely broken with neo-classical hexagonal tectonics to create a sculpture in ‘oppositional tension’, a feature of the Studley Royal landscape design. They have imagined a pentagonal structure with a trompe l’oeil colonnade; the classic dome roof has been replaced by a rotating-axis tower onto which a gazing ball delicately balances. This huge mirror sphere is designed to reflect and distort the surrounding water gardens, whilst the geometrical shaped windows act as framing devices from which visitors are offered multiple perspectives of the landscape.


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