Foundations laid for Crucible
With just over six weeks to go before Crucible opens at Gloucester Cathedral, the Cathedral works team is preparing the ground for the arrival of over 75 works of art by some of Britain’s leading sculptors.
Together, they will constitute a who’s who of contemporary British sculpture, from the “New Bronze Age” sculptors of the 1950s to current household names such as Damien Hirst and Antony Gormley.
A reinforced concrete plinth has been cast by the main entrance to the Cathedral in preparation for the centre-piece of the exhibition, Sir Eduardo Paolozzi’s monumental sculpture of Vulcan.
The Cathedral stonemasons are preparing stone plinths for some of the works. The plinths will be recycled after the show and used on the Cathedral building.
Twenty months of planning are coming to fruition and the sense of excitement is building. The Cathedral architect and maintenance teams have had over a dozen site visits with the exhibition curators from Pangolin and the installation team from Charles Russell Transport to plan the delivery and placement of the works.
They have had to consider the load bearing of the Cathedral floor, measure the width of the doors and even the ceiling heights. The Nave, East End, Crypt, Cloisters, Garth and College Green will form the exhibition space.
The combined weight of all the pieces in the exhibition comes to 25 tons. The works are coming from all over the British Isles, from Scotland to Cornwall and from Cork, Ireland.
Just two of the logistical challenges the exhibition will bring are:
The monumental sculpture by Sir Eduardo Paolozzi weighs 5.5 tons and stands 25 feet high.
A water sculpture by William Pye weighing 3.5 tons will be placed in the North Transept. It is a brand new work specially made for the Crucible exhibition.
The exhibition installation will begin immediately after the Three Choirs Festival take-down, with most exhibits arriving in the week beginning 23 August. It will take an entire week to deliver and position all 76 works.
Charles Russell Transport which has its headquarters in Cheltenham is the No 1 agency in Britain for transporting large artworks. They work for Sotheby’s among other major players and travel all over the world taking artwork to various exhibitions. “Crucible will be great for Gloucester,” said Charles Russell, director of the company “it will make Gloucester a mini City of Culture.”
For more information see the Crucible website www.crucible2010.co.uk