It’s not often that an event will metaphorically deal a winding body blow to your solar plexus. But that’s exactly what happened to me in Gloucester Cathedral. No, I am not about to tell you about my spiritual awakening, rather more my response to the Crucible Sculpture Exhibition on there until the end of the month.
At the entrance towers Paolozzi’s monumental Vulcan, that’s just the start. There’s Gormley’s vulnerable, Close V, Nike by Marcus Harvey which really checks you, and the powerful St Bartholomew, Exquisite Pain by Damien Hurst. And don’t forget to look up to see the beautiful ethereal Dan Chadwick mobile, there’s still over 70 sculptures to go!
Though it’s a show of challenging works it is not only the preserve of gallery savvy. The atmosphere is comfortable, it was being universally enjoyed by extended families milling around, children becoming familiar with sculpture, playing on it. There was a buzz of chatter as experiences were compared and the occasional jaw dropping gasps of amazement greeting a new sculpture were those usually reserved for mesmerizing circus acts or similar feet.
The exhibition showed confidence that the audience would get it, and they did in shed loads. I was completely blown away and would strongly urge anyone get to this once in a lifetime exhibition.