This outdoor installation by Klaus Weber animates the brutalist architecture of the Hayward Gallery, creating a sense of passage for both passers-by and visitors. The work also embodies Weber’s hopes for what an art gallery can offer: the chance to ‘widen our viewpoint, sharpen our senses and make new connections in our brains’. Peacock, one of the two bronze sculptures, is a hybrid human whose hips emit an exuberant jet of water, suggesting a magnificent white bird fanning its plumage. At intervals, the cascade of water deluges the sculpture, extinguishing its plumes and marking a tension between what the artist calls ‘gravity and levity’. Thinking Fountain, the second bronze figure, assumes a pose of contemplation. A fountain of water surges upwards from its neck to suggest the shape of a head, before falling down its bronze body. Flowing water is an ancient metaphor for human consciousness, still evident in contemporary language when we speak of streams of consciousness or floods of emotion.
Featuring new work spanning sculpture, installation, performance, audio work and text by six artists chosen specially for the opening of Collective, Affinity and Allusion will be presented across all of Collective’s exhibition spaces, grounds and buildings. The artists brought together all create art which fundamentally asks us to question how we view the world around us, an approach that is central to Collective’s vision for a new kind of city observatory on Calton Hill.