Object Details

Passacaglia

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General Information
Classification
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Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright for Photograph:

Creative Commons

Location

Street:Kings Road
Town:Brighton
Parish:Brighton
Council:Brighton & Hove City Council
County:East Sussex
Postcode:BN1
Location on Google Map
Object setting:Other
Access is:Public
Location note:On the beach opposite Middle Street / Kings Road Arches
In the AZ book:East Sussex
Page:162
Grid reference:B8
The A-Z books used are A-Z East Sussex and A-Z West Sussex (Editions 1A 2005). Geographers' A-Z Map Company Ltd. Sevenoaks.
OS Reference:TQ3004

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Makers

Name : Charles Hadcock
     Role:Sculptor
Company/Group :James W. Shenton Ltd. Tipton, West Midlands.
     Role:Foundry

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General Information

Commissioned by: Brighton Borough Council through National Lottery grant.
Construction period:1998
Work is:Not sited
Owner custodian:Brighton & Hove City Council
Object listing:Not listed
Description:‘In the form of a tile tessellation, inspired by the limestone terraces at Black Head, Co. Clare, Ireland. Some tiles are flat, others curved and all have textured surfaces that resemble Yorkstone paving. The reverse side of each tile reveals the nuts and bolts of the construction.’

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Classification

Categories:Sculptural, Free Standing, Abstract
Object type1:Sculpture
Subject type1:Non-figurative

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Object Parts

Part 1:Sculpture
     Material:Recycled cast iron
     Height (cm):500
     Width (cm):800
     Depth (cm):150

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Object Condition

Overall condition:Good
Risk assessment:No known risk
Condition 1 of type:Structural
     Condition 1: Broken or missing parts
     More details:When the sculpture was returned to the seafront in November 2007, the part of it that had cracked, forcing its removal, was not replaced. This has changed the appearance of the sculpture but was done with the agreement of the artist.
Date of on-site inspection:24/01/2008

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History

History:Weighs 20 tons
Constructed from recycled cast iron and made from multiples of the same basic form, 18 cast plates each about 1.5 metres across, each weighing about 770kg, some flat, some curved. Bolted together in situ.

‘The title of the sculpture comes from a musical description (Italian) of an instrumental piece in which a theme stretching over several bars is continually repeated, usually but not necessarily always, in the bass. It is derived from old dance music which was often played in the streets.
‘…Hadcock wants to describe the physicality of the sea and the expanse of the horizon. The relative flatness of the coastline at Brighton and the lack of geological features contrast with the dramatic structure of the sculpture emerging like a massive wave from the pebbles on the beach. The sculpture is evoking the start of something, it is frozen in time. It is also possible to set in a wider context – it could be a piece of nautical engineering; the bones of a ship, a wreck washed up.’
‘Brighton Borough Council applied for a grant from the National Lottery to fund two sculptures for the Brighton Seafront Public Art Project – one by Hamish Black, who was involved in the inception of the project, and one chosen by open competition. The grant was secured and the council advertised nationally for proposals for the second sculpture.
The brief Charles Hadcock worked to included:
The artwork should enhance the area, which has recently been redeveloped, providing visual interest and intrigue for an audience which includes holiday makers and local people.’
Charles Hadcock was selected from 90 applicants.
(‘Brighton Seafront Sculpture Project: teachers pack’)

'Seafront sculpture in bad shape'
'Investigations are being carried out to find why a seafront sculpture is cracking up. People are being asked to keep clear of Passcaglia, the large curved iron artwork between the piers on Brighton beach. Tape and a warning sign have been placed on the work, which will have to be dismantled so a damaged plate measuring more than 1sqm can be replaced. Paula Murray, project manager for Brighton and Hove City Council project manager said: ''At the moment it is not clear why this has happened. ''We will look at whether this section might need strengthening when a new piece is cast. ''The sculpture is unique and one of the city's most photographed landmarks so it is important it remains and is maintained.'' The National Lottery-funded work by Charles Hadcock was installed in 1998. '
(Brighton Argus Tuesday 13th Jan 2004.)

'Sculptor shapes up on the beach'
BRIGHTON beach will never look the same again. A 5- metre high cast-iron abstract sculpture, titled Passacaglia, was yesterday being bolted into the shingle by its sculptor, Charles Hadcock - with the help of a crane and a team of engineers and foundrymen.
It weighs 20 tonnes - only a tenth the weight of Antony Gormley's Angel of the North, hoisted on a hill outside Gateshead last month - but hefty enough to satisfy the current civic yearning for monumental modernism.
''It's big, it's brave, it's bold'', said Lord Bassam, Brighton's council leader, ''and it's very Brighton. Like Brighton, it will definitely have a strong reaction.'' Like Brighton? Not quite. Though unmistakably contemporary, Hadcock's design relies on almost-forgotten rules of correct proportion, taken from nature, that were cherished as divine by the ancient Greeks and Romans and guarded as secrets ever since by shady fraternities. The patterned heads of sunflowers, the coils of sea shells - and the facade of the Parthenon - are said to share the same divine geometry. Does it work? A passer-by, watching Hadcock, 32, a graduate of the Royal College of Art, wielding a spanner, told him: ''It's such a pleasing shape, but I don't know why.'' ''That,'' Hadcock replied, relishing the moment, ''is because it's got sacred geometry.'' ''It really works,'' Hadcock said with a grin. ''I find that eight out of ten people say they prefer it. People really do know what they like.'' Hadcock took his inspiration for the sculpture from the first- century Roman architect Vitruvius. The structure, which is sited opposite Brighton promenade's greasy-spoon caffs and souvenir shops, cost pounds 40,000. It was funded with the help of the National Lottery. It might have amused the ancients to watch holidaymakers, candyfloss in hand, trying to locate the divine in 20 tonnes of cast iron.
(Independent, The (London), Mar 20, 1998 by John Windsor)

When the sculpture was returned to the seafront in November 2007, the part of it that had cracked, forcing its removal, was not replaced. This has changed the appearance of the sculpture but was done with the agreement of the artist.

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References


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Photographs





Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons

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