Striking Blue

Fri, 26 Aug 2011 12:58:00 BST

University professor installs new sculpture at Huddersfield Campus ahead of Researchers’ Night extravaganza

Professor Rob Ward


The sculpture has been filmed throughout its design and creation and this film will sit alongside both the concept model and the newly finished piece at the aptly named Living in a Material World event, allowing visitor’s to see and understand the transformation of a physical material into a life-sized sculpture.

As the title suggests, this sculpture was made to be striking.  As you walk onto the campus, the blue front face stands out against the white, grey and brown stones of the buildings that stand over and around it.  The approach brings lines and folds into focus and then when stood before it, the other primary colours of red and yellow appear.  ‘Gates’ can be found in the painted steel walls and it is clear that this is a piece that needs to be explored.

“This particular space I feel has very little colour so I really wanted to bring the idea of colour into the place,” said Professor Ward.  “A lot of my work is about being able to move through things and the relationship of the viewer’s body to the piece. All sculpture is about the body and the object whether it’s a figurative sculpture or not.  My work isn’t figurative, but it is about how the body relates to form, scale, height and size.  If you stand inside the sculpture, it’s the size of a human body, slightly bigger and if you extend your arm up, your hand will reach to the top, almost (dependant on the height of the human form stood inside it!)”


The sculpture isn’t just an art piece of course.  Integrating different areas of research, it ties together design and manufacture to demonstrate that research isn’t just about science.  Striking Blue is a celebration, not just of the University of Huddersfield’s resident sculptor, but also of the whole process of the finished product, Researchers’ Night and the University itself.

Researchers’ Night will be held on Friday 23rd September between 4 and 9pm, but Rob Ward’s sculpture is now in situ outside the Central Services Building and open to the public until after the event.

Striking Blue as viewed from Central Services

Researchers' Night

The University has received €75,000 from the European Union’s Researchers’ Night initiative, part of 7th Framework Programme for Research (FP7) and on Friday 23rd September will join over 300 different venues across 32 countries in celebrating its research and showing the impact it has on people’s everyday lives.  The University is only one of four institutions in the UK, including the Natural History Museum in London, who will be hosting the Researchers’ Night and it is the only event being held outside of southern England this year. Living In A Material World – the name given to the Huddersfield show – is free for children, teenagers and their families and it is expected that upwards of 3,000 people will attend on the day to engage with spiders, sheep and science, DNA, dyes and design, physics, fashion and above all have fun as a host of events are planned across fields such as textiles, pharmaceuticals, computing, engineering and the health sciences.

Further details can be found here and you can also join Researchers' Night on Facebook or follow them on twitter @UoHResNight



The approach view

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