Collected Consciousness is installed in the old bowling green at Brandon Hill Park, Bristol. The sculpture was commissioned by the Friends of Brandon Hill Park for a newly landscaped space which was previously a bowling green. The spherical form of the sculpture is informed by the design of a bowling ball with linear sections that mirror the concentric circles engraved on the surface of a bowling ball which are used by the bowler to give the ball bias.
The park was one of the first public designated pubic spaces in the country. (Some argue it was the actual first “park”) This was highly innovative at the time and demanded a change in thinking of what is public space. There were even instructions as to how the space should be used! It was a brave and original idea – in part this sculpture celebrates this innovative thought.
The park throughout a large part of history was used as a political meeting point – as a speaker’s corner and a gathering place. Over the years many groups met for discussions on the hill. This sculpture celebrates this aspect with all the thoughts of these gatherings, especially in the context of political meetings for political change and reform.
At the top of the hill there used to be an anchorage – a hermitage – where there would have been mediation and prayer – again thought patterns.
In terms of Brandon Hill, with Cabot tower – build to celebrate the discovery of the Americas. This voyage was highly innovative in term of exploration. The thoughts that contributed to this endeavour are also celebrated. This exploration, desire for knowledge – research and exploration also happens in other direction within Bristol – two of our most innovative areas of research and practice are in neurology and ophthalmology (the layered neurons also being to appear as an iris). This sculpture celebrates the thought patterns associated with innovation and discovery.
The form as globe also reflects navigation – with longitude and latitude lines – could be seen to reflect circumnavigation. Responding to the exploration by the Mathew
The dendrite structures of the neuron in the sculpture could be seen respond to the nature of the park as they mirror the dendritic patterns of tree roots and other organic forms. In terms of the physical space the circular forms also reflect the landscaping in terms of the circular path.
The neuron – the birth of a thought – layer of thinking- shifting thought patterns – encompasses many of the above concepts. The layers of neurons also is strong visually, giving a sense of shifting depth and movement.
The neurons are within the “negative” space of the bowling ball – a memory – a trace of the history of the park.
For more information see the Bristol City Council Public Art website
A slide show of images can be seen here