Commissioned by Suffolk County Council
New Gainsborough Library, Ipswich
This was a work that emerged over the course of an 18 month period at the New Gainsborough Library in Ipswich. As the project progressed it was informed by workshop discussions with the users to get to the core of what the library was about. The brain sculpture is suspended at the centre of the library to celebrate this new building as storehouse of human knowledge; but Gainsborough Library does not match your old fashioned idea of a library. It is a place of inspiration for the whole community with its digital sound studio, community rooms, activity programme, cafe, garden, graffiti wall and children's area. So every few months a silver tube appeared on the brain reaching out like a communication line to join onto a platform on the wall. The platforms have three-dimensional scientist figures on them carrying out demonstrations of science, art, history, literature and nature: human endeavour across the disciplines.
The first platform showed vision and visual art sitting side by side. The scientist is turning her eye-lens machine while the artist has drawn a tribute to 'Thomas Gainsborough', namesake of this area of Ipswich where he once lived. The image,"Mr & Mrs Andrews", appears to show a romantic scene of a young newly wed couple, but there is more to this than meets the eye. The couple pose in front of their estate, newly enlarged because of this advantageous marriage. It is a symbol, a statement of their social mobility.
size: 250cm x 250cm x 250cm
materials: mixed media