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  #1  
Old 04-22-2007, 05:15 AM
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Sculptor Paul Day's Commission

This news story is about a very special sculpture commission. Paul Day who got it explained this about the competition brief from London and Continental Railways, the company overseeing the restoration of London's very busy St. Pancras station.

"It stipulated that they wanted a bronze sculpture which must not take up more than 4.5metres [14ft 9in] of floor, must be as iconic and memorable as the Statue of Liberty and must emphasise the romantic nature of train travel,' he said.

We're the couple in Britain's Statue of Liberty

21 April 2007, ... later this year ... Paul and Catherine [Day] will be immortalised in a 30ft-high bronze sculpture of a couple embracing. The 20-ton work of art will form the centrepiece of the newly refurbished £800million St Pancras station in London when it opens in November.

And here, for the first time, Paul and Catherine are pictured alongside an enormous cast for the sculpture that is based on them. ....



The sculpture, which has cost an estimated £1million and is called The Meeting Place, will stand directly beneath the station clock and provide an iconic rendezvous point for the 50million passengers expected to pass through St Pancras each year. And it is likely to become as acclaimed a symbol of London as Rodin's The Kiss is of Paris, or the Statue of Liberty is of New York.

Its gargantuan scale will ensure that it is the first thing many travellers see as they draw into the terminal, which has undergone a painstaking ten-year refurbishment to accommodate high-speed Eurostar trains.

Not surprisingly, making the statue is a monster job in itself.....

Paul, 39, who fought off competition from several other artists to win the commission, said the original brief from London and Continental Railways, the company overseeing the station's restoration, was 'quite intimidating'.

"It stipulated that they wanted a bronze sculpture which must not take up more than 4.5metres [14ft 9in] of floor, must be as iconic and memorable as the Statue of Liberty and must emphasise the romantic nature of train travel,' he said.

Paul produced four preparatory studies at his studio in Sainte-Sabine, a village near Dijon in Burgundy, France, where the couple have lived for the past 14 years. "One of them showed a couple embracing and when the panel saw it they were unanimously excited. Originally, it showed a couple actually kissing - a bit like The Kiss - but it was thought to be a bit too risquÇ, so I had to come up with an idea for another pose."

Paul then did what most sensible men do when they need a quick solution: he asked his wife.

"My assistant took a series of photos of me and Catherine doing what came naturally,' he said. "Catherine came up with the final pose, of the two foreheads touching and the woman's hand touching the man's face. It was much more poignant than a full-blown snog." ...

"A couple saying goodbye or meeting each other seemed a nice subject because it is universally identifiable: young people aspire to it, old people reminisce about it. Contemporary art is fairly incomprehensible to the man in the street and I wanted to do something accessible yet striking which worked in such strong architectural surroundings."

The statue will sit beneath the imposing iron archways of the engine shed constructed by the engineer William Barlow in 1868 - the world's largest single-span structure when it opened.

Paul is confident his sculpture will hold its own against such an awesome backdrop. "But I don't know if it's going to become as iconic as the Statue of Liberty,' he laughs.

"That happens from people's reactions to it, and only time will tell."
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  #2  
Old 04-22-2007, 09:27 AM
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Re: Sculptor Paul Day's Commission

Hm. I'm undecided about the artistic merit of the work, but I think the design is just asking for vandalism...and lewd vandalism, at that.
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  #3  
Old 04-22-2007, 10:53 AM
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Re: Sculptor Paul Day's Commission

Hi, I like the piece. I think it's a nice creative solution which embraces both emotions, saying good bye to someone leaving on a trip or greeting someone who has just returned.
I don't see it as any more prone to vandalism than any other public sculpture and if it is, so what!
Should we only commission public sculpture that we think will not be attacked by vandals?
Have a great day,
Jeff
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  #4  
Old 04-22-2007, 10:57 AM
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Re: Sculptor Paul Day's Commission

So far I like the idea. I hope the turn of the couples faces towards the camera is just for the photo shoot, and the actual sculpture has them facing each other.

They were fortunate not to have to face a neighborhood commission like I did for a not so dissimilar themed fountain idea. Two odd negative reactions were: " Too Eurocentric" ( I thought I was American) " Why a man and a woman? We gays feel excluded " ( If not for a man and a woman, that guy would not even have been there )

Hopefully in regards to vandalism, the work will be situated on a pedestal or some means to make that difficult to accomplish.

Whether this sculpture does it or not, I like the idea of the commission, desiring to create a signiature work that expresses an identity for a city or community. That kind of approach can summon the best out of us all.

GlennT
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Old 04-22-2007, 11:35 AM
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Re: Sculptor Paul Day's Commission

I notice from Paul Day's website that his refief sculptures are quite interesting, making good creative use of 3D perspective.
About Julianna's concern about vandalism, this should be all right. This very tall statue is bronze, and stands inside the central covered area of a very busy London train terminal station.
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Last edited by Merlion : 04-22-2007 at 06:50 PM.
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  #6  
Old 04-23-2007, 09:35 PM
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Re: Sculptor Paul Day's Commission

I like what I see so far, and the goal of a piece recognizable world-wide certainly is a fine one, even for a city as robust as London.
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  #7  
Old 04-23-2007, 10:21 PM
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Re: Sculptor Paul Day's Commission

Nice job on the pants. Can't wait to see it done.
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  #8  
Old 10-22-2007, 06:02 AM
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Re: Sculptor Paul Day's Commission

I take out this old thread. At that time we had to wait to see the completed sculpture.

We now have the news story the 27-ft sculpture is to be unveiled soon, see below. Show further below from another BBC link is I think the clay maquette. Looks impressive.

Station sculpture to be unveiled

22 Oct 2007 (BBC) A 27ft-high (9m) sculpture designed to become an iconic feature of St Pancras International is due to be unveiled.

The Meeting Place by Paul Day will take pride of place on a plinth beneath the central London station's new clock.

Depicting a couple in a "timeless embrace", the sculpture "reflects the romance that train travel used to have," Mr Day said. ...

Mr Day, whose other works include the Battle of Britain monument on the Embankment, said he was inspired among other things by the 2003 British film Love Actually, starring Hugh Grant and Keira Knightley.

"At the airport scene, when you get all the characters together and suddenly the doors open and out come the people that have been away and you get all sorts of meetings and people being reunited," he said.

"I think that is an interesting slice of life and in a way the relief around the base has to be a rich tapestry about people getting together again after being apart." ...


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  #9  
Old 10-22-2007, 09:32 AM
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Re: Sculptor Paul Day's Commission

Does nothing for me. I do very much like the first photo as a sculpture--up to the waist only. Gives it more edge, more to wonder about. I find the complete embrace too chaste and thus boring. His hand needs to be lower, she needs to be pressing against him. Why not give a bit of excitement. Its so very British and proper.
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  #10  
Old 10-22-2007, 10:15 AM
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Re: Sculptor Paul Day's Commission

Stylistically I like it alot. Though it resounds deeply commercial, the guy's got a 40's retro/comic book thing goin on, sets him apart from the curses that standard tradition can afflict in the figurative genre.
But I'm with Joe...need some edge. I know its an extremely "public" job and everything but c'mon, give us something. Dynamics are so important.
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Old 10-22-2007, 10:45 AM
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Re: Sculptor Paul Day's Commission

On second glance, I dislike it even more--look at all the folds in the clothing on their arms. Very distracting. Very passive. More attention to folds than emotion. Not suggestive of anything meaningful. At the very least she could have her tongue in his mouth.
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Old 10-22-2007, 11:06 AM
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Re: Sculptor Paul Day's Commission

The 40's retro comic book look that evaldart observes is a good description. The relation between classic literature and comics is also similar between this figure and what is good about classic sculpture. That may be just fine for a small piece, but to me it is a grand waste given the opportunity provided for a busy public setting at a monumental scale.

Instead of radiating grace, beauty, love, or any number of things, it demonstrates how to render stiff and akward folds on cloth, how not to sculpt hair well, and how to turn the subtle beauty of two faces transformed by love into harshly rendered comic book sketches.

The pose is not a problem for me, just the interpretation that removes the grace and replaces it with...what?
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Old 10-22-2007, 11:13 AM
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Re: Sculptor Paul Day's Commission

Quote:
One thing is valuable in art—that which cannot be explained. (Braque)
Edit/Delete Message
I think we're doing a pretty good job of contradicting Braque in this piece.
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  #14  
Old 10-22-2007, 11:16 AM
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Re: Sculptor Paul Day's Commission

Well, I think MORE giant public work should look back to comic books as a postmodern figurative influence. While it is indeed generalised and docile it has a "spicy warmth", kind of, kind a regular- Joe quality (as opposed to our forum"s irregular Joe). I'm al for every possiblekind of aggressiveness in the art object, but if you're designing for other people I suppose "pleasing" is allright. Now if I could only get them to accept my version of "pleasing".
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Old 10-22-2007, 11:46 AM
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Re: Sculptor Paul Day's Commission

I now have more information of the pose, and a picture of the large sculpture being lifted into place.

Huge statue of lovers embracing installed at new Eurostar terminal

22nd October 2007, These are the first pictures of an enormous 20-tonne bronze sculpture unveiled at St Pancras International station. ....


The work is modelled on the sculptor and his half-French wife Catherine, 38, and was originally to be of the couple kissing.

But London and Continental Railways, which commissioned it, thought the pose too risqué so the statue shows the lovers touching foreheads as they clasp.

It is a poignant meeting of a chic French woman reunited with her English lover and aims to symbolise the meeting of two cultures ......
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Old 10-22-2007, 12:04 PM
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Re: Sculptor Paul Day's Commission

Quote:
But London and Continental Railways, which commissioned it, thought the pose too risqué so the statue shows the lovers touching foreheads as they clasp.

It is a poignant meeting of a chic French woman reunited with her English lover and aims to symbolise the meeting of two cultures ......
What did I say about the Brits? Pathetic! And I dislike the statue yet even more. Maybe a better interpretation would be something like, "Look how proper and repressed we Brits are. The French may liberate us after all." But those awful folds...guess its about "staying in the fold" .
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Old 10-22-2007, 12:09 PM
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Re: Sculptor Paul Day's Commission

I was recently out in San Diego and this piece reminds me a lot of a sculpture overlooking the San Diego Bay. I don't know who did the one in San Diego but this sure does mimic it. http://www.stevemillersculpting.com/.../SDBsculpt.jpg
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Old 10-22-2007, 12:31 PM
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Re: Sculptor Paul Day's Commission

Thats Johnson monstrosity. Nuff said.
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Old 10-22-2007, 02:03 PM
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Re: Sculptor Paul Day's Commission

I'm with JOe on this one. The Folds are annoying. Look at the fold on his shoe? The guy looks like an alien to me. And look at his stance, What a wuss.

Dude grab that chick! Just cause she's got a huge shnozz doesn't mean she isn't a hotty.

Brit...Brat... Blaaaahhhhhhhhh

I want to see Eval's Sloth eyeing them from the corner.
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  #20  
Old 10-22-2007, 04:46 PM
Tlouis Tlouis is offline
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Thumbs down Re: Sculptor Paul Day's Commission

Not much you can do with a stupid suit except muck around with folds and wrinkles tryin to create some kind of interest. Why couldn't they both have been NUDE! Oops, sorry, they're English.
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  #21  
Old 11-17-2007, 02:12 AM
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Re: Sculptor Paul Day's Commission

I have now found a good photo of the tall embrasing couple statue inside London's St Pancras Station which was renovated and opened recently. See link below.

St Pancras

I notice the glossy dark brown color of bronze statues may be traditional. In this and many other cases, it is not very suitable. Comparing this and the picture in post #1, I find the matt white color better.
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Old 11-17-2007, 09:44 AM
Tlouis Tlouis is offline
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Re: Sculptor Paul Day's Commission

This piece looks rather strained as if the sculptor consulted old Terry and The Pirates or Dick Tracy comic strips for inspiration. Too slick for my taste. Looks like that woman is about to eat that guy alive.
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  #23  
Old 11-17-2007, 01:09 PM
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Re: Sculptor Paul Day's Commission

Of all the criticizims, the reference to the comic book style stands out to me. The faces stand out and look to much like badly rendered elves. Not that there is a standard look to the British, but they don't "look" British to me. Unless they come from middle earth. I would think that if they were going to spend £1Mil, they would have chosen a classically trained figurative sculptor who could portray facial features more realistically. The fantasy look of the faces bothers me.
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Old 11-17-2007, 01:53 PM
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Re: Sculptor Paul Day's Commission

Stuff like this brings out the cynic in me.

I think the guy looks like Captain Piccard with a little Michael Jackson nose job and the Girl looks slightly Vulcan with botox syndrome. Maybe it's just because I was watching a show on plastic surgery gone bad the other night...

Why can't they just stick to the basics?
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  #25  
Old 11-17-2007, 02:27 PM
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Re: Sculptor Paul Day's Commission

Ever seen The Mask with Jim Carey? Probably this guy did too. Still, it is absolutely, without a question, definitely better than nothing. I'm sure it's a conversation starter there.
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