Patinated copper and ceramic
49 1/4 x 29 1/2 x 29 1/2 in each
125 x 75 x 75 cm
125 x 75 x 75 cm
ExhibitionsNew York, Betty Cunningham Gallery, Alison Wilding: Sculpture, March - April 2005
Manningtreee, Essex, North House Gallery, Alison Wilding, October - November 2006
Norwich, UEA East Gallery, Extra Terrestrial: Tess Jaray and Alison Wilding, January - March 2016
LiteratureExhibition catalogue, Alison Wilding: Tracking, Ridinghouse, London, 2008, pp 9-10, illus colour p11
Penelope Curtis, Anna Moszynska and Alison Wilding, Vanish and Detail, Ridinghouse, London, 2014, published on the occasion of the exhibition of the same title in the Duveen Galleries, Tate Britain, London, illus colour p76
DescriptionIn Cluster, two heavy patinated shallow, dish-like forms, spun from copper, hold 'dead, crumpled, ceramic flowers' that resemble the embers of a camp fire, or burnt sacrificial offerings. The flowers were glazed in a kiln, and thus they have in fact been subject to high temperatures. Wilding began to patinate copper in 1983, when she made two small wall pieces, Grey Beak, 1983 and Green Beak, 1983. But with Cluster, she asked a foundry to patimate the bowls for her, one in a greenish hue and the other grey. She wanted the patination to reduce the materiality of the bowls, so that they looked as insubstantial as the flowers. The title, as always, gives a clue to the reading of the sculpture. It refers less to the crumpled flowers resting in the bowls, than to those clusters found when looking up into the starry sky - the constellations.
See the closely related sculptures, Largo, 2002 (cast cement fondue, silk and paper flowers) and Melancholia, 2003, (cast concrete and ceramic). Largo was one of four sculptures exhibited as part of Wilding;s solo exhibition in the newly re-opened Duveen Galleries at Tate Britain from 12 November 2013 - 9 February 2014.