Saturday, July 11, 2009

One Hour on Saturday Afternoon

I was just catching up on last night's episode of Collectors when I was reminded, during a segment by Adrian Franklin on a glass exhibition in Tasmania, about a banner I had seen advertising another glass exhibition not far from me. As Franklin pointed out, there's a whole lot to love about glass as an art form, so I decided to take a bus trip up to Mount Coot-tha, which is where the exhibition, by the Creative Glass Guild, was being held.

The work was varied, ranging from that by people who had done their first classes in lead lighting and mosaics, to more obviously advanced practitioners. Most of the work was decorative rather than artistic--if I can make that distinction--which reflected the hobbyist focus of the Guild.

I thought that these pieces would be right at home in a tea or coffee shop:

While this one would be perfect for a music room:

As I left the exhibition, I paused on the way to the bus stop to take some photos of a sculpture that I've long admired from the bus window.

The sculpture sits in front of the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium and the (temporary) plaque says it's a depiction of 'Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, the Russian Father of Cosmonautics'.

After doing the barest minimum of research, looking at a few images on Wikipedia and elsewhere, I've concluded that this is a portrait of Tsiolkovsky as a young man.

This is not the 'conquerer of space' that characterises the monuments pictured on Tsiolkovsky's Wikipedia entry, where he resembles a kind of latter day Zeus, with flowing hair and beard, along with accompanying robes.

No. Here, Tsiolkovsky does not look into the distance, a master of all the space he can survey; instead he looks up, humbled by the vastness of the cosmos. His clothes and his body language are contained and endearing: his hands find sanctuary in his pockets, while his feet with their slightly too large boots stretch out before him, his thighs primly clenched.

I like the dreamer Tsiolkovsky is in this sculpture, wondering to the universe what it would be like to travel through space in a rocket of his invention.

n.b. There was no indication who the artist was on any signage around the sculpture. I suppose that information might be on the permanent plaque whenever it's mounted.


Mark Lawrence said...

I like your interpretation of this sculpture, Kirsty, and its different depiction of the man. I like the idea of looking into the cosmos, awed, and wondering, curious and adventurous. Rather than conquering and 'omnipotent'.

It's odd that this would be a depiction of him in his young life, as I normally associate these characteristics in young men who are full of their own self assurance, rather than older men who have battled a few windmills and are a little more humbled by real life.

Or perhaps that's just the Soviet delusion, rather than the man's.

meli said...

that's a brilliant sculpture - thanks for sharing it!

Kirsty said...

Glad you like it too, Meli!

Hmmm, I can see where your interpretation comes from Mark. I guess my reading was influenced by looking at the statues on Wikipedia, where he really was presented as an older, god-like figure.

Nicotina the Fag said...

Yeah what a cool sculpture - I like the effect of seeing the sculpture from different angles as well as the description. Gives it much more of a sold or live effect. I have to say though, my neck hurts just at the thought of having it in that position for an extended period!