AXEL - THE BOLERO SQUARE SCULPTURE,
ICE ARENA, NOTTINGHAM
View Larger Map
The Sculpture responds to the multi - functional concept of the arena, the building design, the square and its surroundings. Bolero Square has a strongly horizontal emphasis. The sculpture is a tall counterbalance to this and has adequate space around it to stand out against existing vertical structures. Freestanding, it has a scale comparable with the Arena’s central structure. Height and elegance combine to create a striking symbol for the Arena that does not over dominate its context. The sculpture’s height, form and tonality contrast definitively with other materials in the square presenting a bold, dramatic and striking landmark like Eros at Piccadilly or the Sky Mirror at Nottingham Playhouse.
The materials used give distinct identity to the sculpture but combine and contrast sympathetically with those of existing structures. Materials, colour and tone are drawn from the refl ective properties of ice, skate blades and patination on the ice surface. To enhance movement, artificial and natural lighting are used to capture and produce changing effects throughout the day and night.
The sculpture adds another key point City attraction for Arena users and City visitors. It is immediately experienced by Arena users inside and outside the building, by those walking or driving by and may also be viewed at different levels and from perspectives from Lace Market properties. Glimpses are caught from the Bellar Gate and Stoney Street approaches and the approach perspectives of London Road Island and Hockley.
CONCEPT, MEANING AND PUBLIC RECOGNITION
The sculpture evolved from a defi nitive aspect of skating: the turn on the ice. This can be in the spin of the ice dancer; the curving shifts of the hockey player, the striding turns of the speed skater or simply the continual procession of skating around the rink. Also reflected is the way the body enwraps itself in movement on ice. The ways limbs extend, fold, curve and elegantly interweave as internal and external shapes. In turn, the surface of the sculpture reflects the patination of the ice as a result of impact of these physical movements on its surface. The form of the sculpture evolves from this human movement on ice to the abstract symbol of the blade itself on ice. Materials consolidate the way in which light and movement join to fully extend the sculpture’s symbolism. The public can relate to the sculpture through form, movement and mood created through lighting; these link with visual memories of ice sport participants and audiences.
WOLFGANG AND HERON