Ariadne Wrapped is unwrapped: New Gavin Turk sculpture at CB1 invites you into metaphysical maze
Contemporary sculptor Gavin Turk has unveiled a new artwork at the heart of the CB1 development in central Cambridge.
Inspired by surrealist artistic methodologies and the ‘myth’ of the artist, the sculpture depicts Greek goddess Ariadne as an exploration of a classical figure that invites the audience inside a larger metaphysical maze.
The sculpture, named Ariadne Wrapped and unveiled on June 17, is positioned outside of the city’s main station and is described by the artist as an “out-of-focus classical form” that plays against the colonnades of the station itself.
In Greek mythology, Ariadne allegedly helped Theseus escape the Labyrinth and the Minotaur, and was then taken to Naxos and abandoned there by Theseus. At first glance, Turk’s work shows an object hidden in a dust sheet and bound with rope.
Turk cites Italian artist Giorgio de Chirico – known for his surrealist works often picturing a white colonnade and a piazza – as an inspiration for the sculpture of Ariadne whose reclining figure is located in front of a set of arches at the station building.
Gavin Turk, who was joined by celebrated Cambridge-based Chinese artist Ai Weiwei at the unveiling, said: “Ariadne Wrapped has made a reality of something which I dreamt up through looking at a painting, which is a painting of a dream.
“This most recent work outside Cambridge Station brings together many different themes from my work, developing what I see as a metaphysical landscape, which incorporates other works I have made, including a 12-metre nail opposite St Paul’s Cathedral, a giant plug, in a plughole in Paddington Basin, and a number of larger-than-life doors, hanging in frames (most recently L’âge d’Or was sited outside the Museum of Migration in Rotterdam).”
The work was commissioned by Brookgate as part of its commitment to investing in culture during the ongoing delivery of the CB1 estate.