Collect – Piece #1

Ok, I am dying to share this artwork with the world.

“Stack” by Torbjørn Kvasbø

I found this beautiful ceramic sculpture in the Galleri Format area of Collect 2013 , Saatchi Gallery, London, a couple of weeks ago and I have to say I find it totally captivating.

My experience with Saatchi Gallery consisted of a 14 year old me witnessing a sculpture of men crucified on a tree. I was horrified. But since that tender age, I have actually grown to like art and literature that provokes a feeling of discomfort. As a result, when I encountered Stack my initial thought was “oh grief, the Saatchi Gallery hasn’t got any less weird!” but I was very quickly taken over by my need to confront the repulsive.

I paced around Stack a of times. You can’t see the central point from which those gory red tubes are emanating. The piece also has a great push and pull factor that repulses you a little but curiosity about what is inside also draws you in. You start craning your neck and stooping low to see down the tubes. They’re wide enough for your hand to fit down. You start to visualise you fist reaching tentatively into the darkness and blossoming out in the gloom, trying to discover if there is some secret inner-cavity.

Before you know it an invigilator is telling you not to touch.

Anyway, I get that a lot of people will look at this piece and think “wow, what is this lady on? I don’t get the fascination…” That’s fine. There are people who think rotting cows heads in tanks are art works and I totally disagree. This is the beauty of freedom of opinion. But before you go, here is a mini story I attached to this piece.

This is no longer an art piece made of ceramic, it is a heart. It’s gruesome and mutated; instead of having two main arteries it’s erupting left, right and centre with them. The heart was one of three belonging to a giant beast, as big as a dinosaur but stranger; not something that walks this planet or those nearby. When beasts are big, you assume they might be vicious. But this was a gentle giant, beloved by all, which was struck down with a terrible affliction that choked its heart out. In an attempt to stop the contagion from spreading, a master surgeon cut out the vicissitudinous mass and the people of the realm prayed that the beast’s remaining two hearts would be enough to sustain it. We are never to know, but here it’s gory red shine is captured forever in salute of a benevolent guardian.


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