Tag Archive | Sculpture

Blade by Nayan Kulkarni for Hull Capital of Culture

In a major commission for Hull 2017, artist Nayan Kulkarni has transformed the historic heart of Hull city centre with Blade, a massive, monumental artwork that will change the way people see and experience Queen Victoria Square.

Kulkarni has taken a 75metre rotor blade – that you would normally see at the top of a wind turbine – to create this artwork, spectacularly interrupting this newly renovated public space.

Made by hand at the Siemens factory in Hull, these blades are the largest single-cast handmade objects in the world.

B75 rotor blades, made by hand at the Siemens factory in Hull, are the largest single-cast handmade objects in the world. It is one of the first blades to come out of the factory, made by hand by the men and women of Hull.

Multimedia artist Kulkarni, best known for his work with light, said: “Blade seeks to transform Hull’s streetscape through the imposition of a single wind turbine blade. This readymade artwork, 75 metres long, will divide the square forming a temporary impediment to a free flow. Carefully positioned, it will force us to drift around its arabesque edges, our sight taking the place of the breeze. The twisting wing, although inert and at rest in the street, speaks of movement, but not of freedom.”

Blade bisects the square, from Savile Street to Carr Lane, rising to a height of more than 5.5 metres at its tip, allowing double-decker buses to pass underneath. It offers a striking contrast to the familiar facades of the neo-classical Ferens Art Gallery, the Italianate Maritime Museum and Hull City Hall.

Blade is being installed with the support of Hull UK City of Culture 2017 Major Partners Siemens and Green Port Hull and has been made possible by a range of other organisations. It is first in a series of major art commissions that will be installed in public spaces around Hull as part of Look Up, a year-long programme for Hull 2017 that will see different artists creating temporary artworks designed to make people look at and experience the city in new ways.

Despite its size, what is striking about the sculpture is its elegance.

Martin Green

Martin Green, CEO and director, Hull 2017, said: “Nayan Kulkarni’s Blade is a dramatic, yet graceful addition to Hull’s city centre. Despite its size, what is striking about the sculpture is its elegance. Putting this example of stateoftheart technology against the historic charms of Queen Victoria Square makes you look at this fine public space differently. It’s a structure we would normally expect out at sea andin a way, it might remind you of a giant sea creature, which seems appropriate with Hull’s maritime history. It’s a magnificent start to our Look Up programme, which will see artists creating site-specific work throughout 2017 for locations around the city.”

Blade will remain in Queen Victoria Square until 18 March. More installations will be unveiled at locations around the city throughout Hull’s City of Culture year as part of the Look Up programme.

Siemens UK chief executive Juergen Maier said: “We’re hugely excited to have worked with Nayan Kulkarni and the City of Culture team on this dramatic, unique installation. This collaboration reflects our desire to make a positive impact as a Hull UK City of Culture 2017 Major Partner. Blade brings to life the engineering and manufacturing excellence of which we are so proud, and makes it tangible for the people of Hull and visitors to the city.

“It feels perfect that Blade – one of hundreds of 75metre blades we will manufacture in Hull every year – will be a prominent feature during the City of Culture Made In Hull season. We hope people enjoy it. When people see our blades close up, they often comment on how beautifully crafted they are. This installation will enable many thousands of people to appreciate that beauty and scale, in the very heart of the city.”

Following Blade, further details about Look Up, the programme of major public art commissions for Hull 2017, will be announced over the next weeks and months. The next installation, a large-scale work by artist Michael Pinsky, is set to appear at the start of February. Other artists include Bob and Roberta Smith; Tania Kovats; Claire Barber; Chris Dobrowolski; Claire Morgan; and Sarah Daniels. Look Up has been developed in partnership with a number of organisations and companies including The Deep, GF Smith, Hull School of Art and Design and Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

Hull City Council has also commissioned new work in the public realm, including work by two of the Look Up artists Michael Pinsky and Nayan Kulkarni, who is creating The Golden Hour, a series of light installations across the city centre that will appear during 2017.

E-waste into art by Robb Godshaw

Robb Godshaw makes artwork that is conceptual and, as he describes, “Uses technical means to move things that can’t be moved, or make visible things that aren’t normally visible.” During an artist residency at SF Recology, which houses San Francisco’s dump, Godshaw scavenged electronic waste, most of which was functional. He turned old televisions into microscopes and made a powerful rainbow generator, upcycling e-waste to create illuminated kinetic sculptures and installations. The residency allowed him to expand his use of materials and elevate discarded objects to explore the personal narratives attached to the things humans leave behind.

Find more of Robb’s work here: http://www.robb.cc/



Forte Renewables and Anne Marie Twigge – (2015)


On October 13th Forte Renewables had the official opening of its new headquarters at the World Trade Centre in Amsterdam. To celebrate the event Forte invited Dutch artist Anne Marie Twigge to present her latest sculptural work AMRC 2015 and discussed with Fortes Managing Director, Fergal O’Mahony how Art and Energy are heading towards new and exciting futures and changing cultures.

In attendance were friends and invited members of the renewable industry who enjoyed cocktails and canapés at this unique talk and open discussion.

“Art never used to be confined to the white box.” Anne Marie Twigge

Anne Marie has created a series of white cubes where the stuff of our lives, those products created by people for people using energy harnessed from dirty fossil fuels, traces of our humanity, are now both preserved or re-fossiled and emerging from their containment; reaching from their fracturing white boxes into the world and reflecting a sense of the transitions we are in.

I find myself hoping that we humans can reach beyond the bubbles we’ve created for ourselves and become part of the world again.

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Like all good art work, it is not just white and black; the work is not limited by the things I’ve said about it above!

It draws your attention, the pieces invite you to stay with them, to re-read them. To re-consider. Seeing the work (even if only remotely, via the medium of digital photography, skype and the duo’s writings) I am reminded of why a cultural voice is so important in our debate about energy: Facts, figures, mechanics, techy stuff, only really comes alive when it connects with our imaginary world. It is in this liminal space that we invent, grow, harvest…. change.

This art stuff, the objects and experiences, help us to focus our imaginations on a particular point and this focus or zoom, helps us to direct our energy. We can be reminded or what we want to do, of how we could do it, of what blocks are in our way. We can tell and retell the stories of our lives.

Perhaps, the more powerful the work, the more it invites this re-consideration and reflexive thinking. (On art as a reminder from The School of Life)

The thing is, it can be hard for artists to play this important role in society. Artists need money, they need access or exposure to the subject matter and they also need autonomy. It can be mutually beneficial for industry to work with artists, but “It can be like chalk and cheese” said Anne Marie on the challenge of artists working with an industry partner.

Fergal and Anne Marie have overcome these challenges – I surmise this is for a number of reasons (there are undoubtedly more than I’ve listed!):

  • Fergal has an appreciation for the arts and respects Anne Marie’s expertise
  • Anne Marie has experienced working with industry partners and this project is an evolution in her practice
  • There was a two way exchange. Anne Marie and Fergal had numerous discussions throughout the development of the work that allowed them to influence each-other and create a shared understanding
  • The presentation or opening for the work was an enjoyable, intriguing and valuable networking experience in and of itself.
  • The artwork gave visitors a point of focus outside their usual modes of connection and stimulated new thinking

Once an artist has made a connection like this with an industry partner, it is worth continuing to work together if possible. I really look forward to seeing more chalkycheesish fruits of their labour.

The text below is taken from the document they published with the talk:


It’s exciting whenever two experts working in different disciplines discover that they have reached parallel conclusions about a new field of inquiry; the pursuit of new cultures.

In the past weeks Fergal O’Mahony and Anne-Marie Twigge have been sharing their thoughts on cultural values that arise from the energy that makes them possible. Following historical shifts related to energy provides one with an already interesting narrative.

The Industrial Revolution is the result of coal and steam accelerating human effort and changed the way we work and live. Coal-based manufacturing required a disciplined work force; inspiring class consciousness and an emphasis on self-discipline, which in turn inspired universal public education. At the same time romanticism and realism form the arts and the culture of production is born.

Then electricity brings us the Culture of Transformation. Electrification everywhere inspires millions with confidence in our ability to change the world. The arts too evolve internationally connecting cultures and differing ideas of development producing the modernist movement as well as other `isms` in politics

“Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only pass from one form to another”. Albert Einstein

The Culture of Consumption is paralleled with oil and natural gas. People are seen as consumers and widely explored by various post-modern artists like Duchamp, Warhol and Rosler. Shortly after the roaring twenties nuclear energy was being applied in the efforts of war and shocked the societal system as we are addressed by instant mass mortality.

The Culture of Anxiety has set in through the fear of atomic weapons and nuclear fallout helped carve the dread of cancer deep into our hearts, and they put a man on the moon. This culture however helped launch environmentalism, and laid the foundations for the anti-Vietnam war movement.

The cold war framed the phobia about nuclear power, leading to a coal-based energy policy that has killed hundreds of thousands of people from air pollution and threatens the very climate on which life on earth depends. Nuclear fears even gave birth to the modern skepticism of technology and industry, and of science itself.

With these notions in mind it would seem logical that society would be embracing renewable energy at large. However the economic downfall has only further fuelled anxious behaviour and a Culture of Stewardship still requires efforts in education.

Every day we are plagued by synthetic needs and instant gratifications, no longer taking extra time to think about the resources that fuel these items of desire, the
objects that construct our identities.

The changes in our cultural values that arise from the energy sources that make those cultures possible are fundamental, deeply rooted in how we see ourselves  and others.

The term Engineering is derived from the Latin ingenium, meaning “cleverness” and ingeniare, meaning “to contrive, devise”. The concept of engineering has existed since ancient times as humans devised fundamental inventions such as the pulley, lever, and wheel.

Each of these inventions is consistent with the modern definition of engineering, exploiting basic mechanical principles to develop useful tools and objects.

As detailed previously mankind has devised new technologies with each passing century and continues to push the boundaries of possibility. Today in the world of energy exciting innovations are being advanced to radically alter the way energy for power, heat and transport is provided and consumed by the world’s population.

Renewable energy has muscled in on its big brothers in the fossil fuel industry and is a disruptive actor looking to create a cultural change in how we perceive and cherish the energy available to us. It is a fight for position and influence and big brother won’t give up easily!

“First they ignore you, then they laugh  at you, then they fight you, then you win” Mahatma Gandhi

In January 2012 outside a village in southern Honduras, Central America at the site of a proposed wind farm we at Forte saw the potential culture changing effects of Renewable Energy. Instead of anti-wind lobby protesters we were greeted with great enthusiasm and smiles by the locals as they welcomed us to their area. They knew what the wind farm would mean for them – a brighter more independent future with better roads and ready access to electricity and purified water for the first time.

Fast forward a few years and now the San Marcos de Colon Wind Farm is complete and operational. The wind farm provides energy to 100,000 homes in Honduras and the locals are part of a significant movement in Honduras away from thermal and fossil fuels.This has changed their lives and is part of a greater goal to allow one of the poorest countries in Central America break free from dependence on imported fuels. That is good for the locals, for Honduras and the environment.

Investments in grid-connected renewable energy will reduce Honduras’ dependence on imported fossil fuels, reduce the country’s vulnerability to market shocks and free up government resources for alternative development priorities. Shifting from reliance on traditional fossil fuel energy generation to renewables will reduce local pollutant and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, improving quality of life and lessening the drivers of climate change. Furthermore, investments in renewable energy have the potential to unlock job creation.

Here at Forte we are proud and excited to be part of the pursuit of significant cultural changes related to the field of energy.

Anne-Marie Twigge obtained her BA Business Administration with a focus on commerce commencing a professional career in business working in the fields of marketing and brand communications. Whilst residing in Shanghai, China, she expanded her professional career as creative consultant and researcher with an artistic practice attending residencies across New York, Mumbai and London before obtaining her Masters degree in Artistic Research at the Royal Academy of Art. Dealing with cultural and ethical representations; the process of valuing from the emotional to the economical form the vocal point of Twigge’s practice.

Fergal O’Mahony is a civil engineer with 15 years’ experience in the design and project management of water treatment, land development and renewable energy projects. His first renewable energy project was a wind farm in the south east of Ireland in 2006. In 2012 he founded Forte Renewables as a freelance consultant and since then the company has grown so that it now has team members in Brazil, India, Taiwan, France and the Netherlands. Forte offers services to developers and investors across the project lifecycle and caters for the commercial as well as the community energy sector.


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Under the Green Communities banner, Forte Renewables and Royal HaskoningDHV are offering a dedicated service combining environmental, consenting, engineering and commercial resources to enable community renewables. Green Communities (www.green-communities.com), is a unique partnership of leading experts, providing community groups with affordable, technical guidance to develop green energy projects in their local areas.

To help local energy groups leverage funding such as the Rural Community Energy Fund, Green Communities offer the Green Business Plan, a bespoke product for local community groups. The Green Business Plan is a first step in enabling community groups to approach potential investors, funds or grants to secure the necessary finance to progress through planning; procurement; construction and operation of green energy projects.”