Philip Black - The Innocence of Discovery

'The Innocence of Discovery' consists of a large egg-like sphere, seemingly at home in its earthly environment.  The basic organic form does not shout “alien” in its outdoor surroundings, instead it encourages the viewer to investigate with a hint of incongruity. 

On approach, it becomes apparent that there is a hole, an entrance, a way to discover the interior of this form.  On closer inspection the hole confuses, it pierces the volume completely, opening to the other side, but its fluted interior restricts the view, tightly drawing in the possible perspective the viewer has.  Unable to see the final impact of this opening on the form, the viewer is drawn through the hole to explore something unknown but enticing.  The innocence of discovery is rekindled. 

This piece then is about the journeys of discovery that we make in life.  The way each individual explores and discovers new things. 

It is important that the piece is touched; that there is discovery through touch (and sound: it goes, "dong!" when struck like a bell) as well as sight.  The scale and finish of the piece are designed to allow younger/smaller viewers to experience the joy of actual discovery by crawling through the hole. I’ve always wanted to touch sculptures when I see them and, when in September 2007 Kew Gardens displayed many Henry Moore sculptures around the gardens, it was a real joy to see how fluently children related to the pieces when they were allowed to touch them – this could only happen with such robust pieces in an outdoor setting.  

This sculpture sits comfortably outdoors, encouraging long perspectives through the pierced form and creating ever changing patterns of light and shadow on the interior surfaces.  The exterior patina should become more weathered with time and add to the initial organic appearance of the form (it will also drain completely dry after rain, no puddles!).

Included with this application are photos of the maquette including dimensions;  these images are of a maquette, the external finish of the actual sculpture will be rough patina bronze, not newsprint with lettering etc, and the internal finish will be polished bronze.  There are also some created pictures placing the sculpture in an outdoors context.

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