‘Wheel of peace and culture’ goes on display

Group of three sculptures was curated by principal of the Hampstead School of Art Isabel Langtry

Thursday, 5th May — By Isabelle Stanley

Francisco Gazitua

Francisco Gazitua with his work

THE final sculpture in a new public display was unveiled in a garden installation in Hampstead yesterday (Wednesday).

The group of three sculptures, gathered from as far away as Argentina, was curated by principal of the Hampstead School of Art Isabel Langtry, and placed in pride of place in Hampstead Manor sculpture garden in Kidderpore Avenue.

One of Ms Langtry’s own works entitled Fae is on display. The three-metre bronze model is designed to interact with the nature around it. Ms

Langtry said: “It was all about creating a sculpture that could dance with the trees.”

She added: “Every year we’re going to have a bubble festival, because when I washed the sculpture with Fairy Liquid, bubbles started blowing through the hole.”

The largest and final sculpture in the group, Andes Wheel, was created by Chilean artist Francisco Gazitua whose work appears at major landmarks around the world, including the airport in Santiago, Chile.

Isabel Langtry

Ms Langtry said: “When I went to Chile and walked out of the airport, I was gobsmacked by his 20-metre sculpture. But I have known him for many years because he was my tutor at St Martin’s when he lived in Camden. He has inspired the work of so many current sculptors.”

Gesturing to his work, Mr Gazitua said: “I became a sculptor because I love to sculpt. Sculptures talk on behalf of the sculptor.”

The granite for his enormous, hand-carved wheel comes from the Andes, he said: “We have a fantastic tradition of carving and forging there.”

Running his hand over the granite, he said: “This granite is the hardest in the world. If you go to the British Museum, you will see the Egyptian granite sculptures and they are still there. This will be here for a long time.”

Isabel  Langtry and Francisco Gazitua

He added: “This is a wheel of peace and culture, science and culture have to come together for peace. If development is not with education, then it will be dead.”

The gardens were donated to the public by the developers of the housing complex, Mount Anvil, meaning the sculptures are free for anyone to see. Mount Anvil asked Ms Langtry to work with them five years ago.

Ms Langtry said: “Being such a culturally rich area, we wanted to create something that would leave a lasting cultural legacy for the whole community.”

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