= The Crawford Arts Review: 2020

Monday, 15 June 2020

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Photograph by Alastair Phillip Wiper, 2012,
with thanks to RIBA

This is the Mont-Louis Solar Furnace at Odeillo, Eastern Pyrenees. I am at a loss how to describe it actually. So beautiful. So functional. 
      Its designer is the French engineer FĂ©lix Trombe. He built it out of 9600 mirrors, placing them so that the sun's energy focused onto a platform about the size of a frying pan.
      Temperatures could reach 3,500 degrees C, allowing scientists and fellow engineers to use it as a materials testing lab.

Monday, 6 April 2020

Since COVID-19, I have started judging the value of city life according to how near I am to one of these. Think of the root system as the mind; think of the stem as the neck; think of the crown as the lung.

Thursday, 26 March 2020

You might find nature helps during these times. And nature in a plant pot certainly counts

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

An exercise- or food-shopping walk is a chance, albeit a brief one, to explore your local built environment, albeit with mostly closed shops.
You'll notice details you missed before. It's an exercise I'd recommend to everyone, architects and designers in particular perhaps. You'll notice more because the usual clutter of traffic is absent. Don't forget to keep 2-metres apart from others and get home with minimum delay.

Saturday, 14 March 2020

Stay safe advice

. . . NIH researchers compared the new coronavirus' lifespan on surfaces to that of the SARS coronavirus. They found that both coronaviruses lived the longest on stainless steel and polypropylene, a type of plastic used in everything from toys to car parts. Both viruses lasted up to 3 days on plastic, and the new coronavirus lasted up to 3 days on steel.

On cardboard, however, the new coronavirus lasted three times longer than SARS did: 24 hours, compared to 8 hours.
Another study published last week in the Journal of Hospital Infection looked at the lifespans of other coronaviruses found in humans on various surfaces. The SARS coronavirus, at a temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius), lasted for two days on steel, four days on wood and glass, and five days on metal, plastic, and ceramics. (The researchers also found that one strain of SARS lasted up to nine days on a plastic surface at room temperature.)
SARS survived for two to eight hours on aluminum and for less than eight hours on latex.
According to Graham, smooth, nonporous surfaces like doorknobs and tabletops are better at carrying viruses in general. Porous surfaces — like money, hair, and fabric — don't allow viruses to survive as long because the small spaces or holes in them can trap the microbe and prevent its transfer, Graham said.

Thursday, 12 March 2020

Until Friday 27 March

Following on from what Mahler wrote musically in his Das  Lied von der Erde, the scent of white terracotta that fills Josh Lilley's Fitzrovia gallery is indeed one of the 'songs of the earth'.

The artist in this show is Italian master sculptor and ceramicist Benedetto Pietromarchi using terracotta, ceramic and metal overlay to show his love of nature, birds in particular: he calls them Guardians.

Here is Pietromarchi's Stork (2020) shot from behind to show the modelling of the bird's wings as it looks out in the early evening of a quietening London.

Josh Lilley
40-46 Riding House Street
London W1W 7EX


Monday, 27 January 2020

The art that is sculpture embraces the art that is architecture

The result, I think, is a triumphant win-win for both.

The sculpture (the picture on the left shows only a small part of it) is the work of Spanish installation artist and sculptor Cristina Iglesias and it has just won her the Royal Academy of Arts 2020 architecture prize.  

The prize is awarded for urban sculptures in public spaces (in other words, the spaces between buildings). By this process it is hoped the life and work of two sets of people are enriched: the people who work in the buildings and the people who pass by in the normal course of their day, taking a fresh air break, having lunch, shopping, or catching a moment of relaxation.

The multiple sections of the specially commissioned sculpture are built of cast bronze, granite and, of course, water. They surround the Bloomberg Building and are in fact integral to the building's roof drainage system. So here Ms Iglesias displays not only architectural but engineering skills. Gravitational force and the gradient of bronze the sculptor has built in to the work mimic the fluid dynamics of a rushing stream so that you can almost imagine this is the local Walbrook stream (now underground) you are looking at. Lower level granite walkways have also been installed so that on sunny days you might imagine sitting on the banks of the stream watching as the sparkling water makes its way down the ancient river valley to enter the Thames.     

Note: The Bloomberg Building, the company's European Headquarters and itself a winner of RIBA's Stirling Prize, was designed by Lord Norman Foster of Foster and Partners and sits in a 3.2-acre site between St Paul's and the Bank of England.

Cristina Iglesias Forgotten Streams
The Bloomberg Building
3 Queen Victoria Street
London EC4