Now then, this ‘Blade’ thing…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s unusual pencil sharpener is the one shaped like the roar of a tiger.
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Now then, this ‘Blade’ thing…
Yes, it’s part of the Dulltown UK City of Culture 2017 of course. It seems that someone has organised having an enormous blade, originally designed for a big wind turbine, displayed in the main square of the city. (I wonder if there is a sad-looking turbine somewhere out at sea, standing with two dangling blades, waiting for its third one to arrive?) I saw this on the day it arrived, and gosh, it was impressive, and big! Here’s a picture of the beast I took last week; a view showing the thick end. It was quite tricky getting all of it in the shot.

dscn4820Here’s another picture:

dscn4819It’s not often I’m impressed (as you well know by now dear reader), and no, I’m not  complaining already, or be negative here, but, on first seeing the thing I was half expecting, and hoping, that they would be mounting it standing up on end, pointing into the sky rather than having it lolling supine there on a couple of trestles.
But, I suppose, having a shape that has been very carefully designed to capture every puff of wind that goes near it and convert that into rotational energy, it would have been pretty difficult to keep the thing glued to the ground if a bit of a breeze sprang up. Still, impressed I was…
Now, what is it called, what’s it all about, and why is it here?
I think I’d have called it ‘The Blade’, but it is actually called ‘Blade’ – not much difference I suppose, but ‘Blade’ definitely sounds more ‘arty’.
Speaking of art, and apparently this is art, it is by an artist called Nayan Kulkarni. I think that if you don’t have much trouble accepting Marcel Duchamp’s ‘Fountain‘ (1917) as art, you shouldn’t be too upset by this piece.
I see there is some information about the installation displayed in the window of one of the nearby closed-down shops – ah, yes, there’s the artist’s name, and where the thing came from, the the company who transported it, and…
It is a beautiful, well made and well finished object, it is impressive, and dare we say it’s ‘breathtaking’? Yes, let’s… It’s breathtaking…
However…
“However” Dave?’
Yes, however – I don’t seem to see the names of the engineers, the boys and girls up at the factory, who sweated hard to design and construct this beautiful and elegant object included in the blurb. So what did the artist do to make this piece of work? Well, I suppose he had the ‘idea’ – that’s pretty good – and what else? I suppose he was on the phone a lot, and spent plenty of time in serious meetings, and peered closely at a map to see if there was enough space for it in the square. In a piece of publicity I looked at recently he describes this work as, ‘a profound material gesture‘. Don’t you just love ‘art-talk’?
Of course our engineers couldn’t be credited as ‘artists’ could they? No, definitely not! That’s unthinkable! Engineers, whose job it is to confront nature, understand and obey the laws of physics, design things that are stable, don’t snap, crumble away, or fall over, often, hand in hand with nature, come up with elegant, efficient, and yes, beautiful things like this. Let’s give them a round of applause dear reader!…
Anyway, there is a very impressive piece of engineering on display in this city at the moment – it is definitely worth coming to gawp at…

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
This entry was posted in art, creation, design, Dulltown, Hull.UK., humour, information, observations, physics, science, sculpture, seeing, surrealism and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Now then, this ‘Blade’ thing…

  1. Well now…I do like this piece. Its very….umm….smooth and curvy. Voluptuous even. However, I do agree with you in that the engineers should have been credited with the making of this Blade. After all, an “idea” isn’t really much unless its brought to life. And if you create something, regardless of whether its your own invention or someone commissioned you to do it it, thats worthy of a mention. (If I was one of those engineers I would go and out my name in black marker right on that plaque!)

  2. Jheron Bash says:

    Absolutely! I’m right with you on this one. I was actually quite surprised to find an ‘artist’ was even involved at all. I bet he wasn’t driving the truck that got it there either. Who is this guy anyway. It certainly IS an impressive piece though, isn’t it? Wonder where its final resting place will be …

  3. David Burnby says:

    The weird thing about Blade is how it looks on photographs. Your first shot looks like a photo shopped image. When the news first broke that it was being installed, many folk on social media suggested it was a big hoax and refused to believe the images! It’s one of those things that needs to be experienced to appreciate. Fair comment about the engineers: I thought the same thing.

  4. Jheron Bash says:

    I’m not quite with you on the vertical idea though, which would involve staring upwards to a vanishing point. Don’t know. Lying across the square gives a sense of scale and incongruity against the buildings. I just think it should have been angled about 20 degrees more upwards instead of lying horizontal. Trying to point at Venus? But am I an artist though? What do I know?

    • Dave Whatt says:

      I think the support at the thinner end, is not so much a ‘support’ as something weighting the brute down so that it doesn’t take off and fly away, or spring up and spear the City Hall dome if it gets a bit windy. The closer it is to the ground the safer it is.

  5. ktz2 says:

    It appears tubular, or does it flatten out to actually be blade-like?
    A thing I like about the photos is the old-old buildings around the edge of the space. . those are everyday buildings to you over there, but not to me–something 160 yrs old is around the oldest they might come in the west US

    • Dave Whatt says:

      Yes it’s round at the ‘base’ where it bolts onto the shaft with its two companion blades, and it does flatten out along its length. It also curves a bit along its length too. It would appear much thinner if you were above it and looking down onto it. I think it is in that position to stop the wind lifting it up and taking it away…
      Most of those visible buildings are only about 120 years old – the old ones are by far the nicest in the city.

      • ktz2 says:

        There are old buildings surviving in the East where the first cities were– NewYork, Boston, Philly, but at the time the West was basically unsettled, the Spanish in Mexico had small settlements in California here & there,.

      • Dave Whatt says:

        I notice that lots of US domestic architecture features wood – there was plenty of it around in the old days, and of course it was quick and efficient to put wooden buildings up, and take them down again and build new ones if one fancied, without too much bother – stone and brick are much slower, but do last longer.

  6. David Manley says:

    As a confirmed old miserablist I went prepared to poo poo it but yes Goddamn its rather good! I knew a chap at college who went on to do design work for Siemens…maybe he helped fashion its shape!?

  7. David Manley says:

    Hi Dave…now…the Siemens factory manufacturing lead is a chap called Ian Dear…but the design may have originated in the Siemens Research Centre at Sheffield University (arg…the South Riding!) where the Head of Research is a Prof. Zi-Qiang Zhu… that one may raise an eyebrow or two when scrawled on the pristine whiteness of the blade!

    • Dave Whatt says:

      Ahoy David!
      Well thank you for that, but I don’t think I shall be doing anything about it… I’d probably get arrested if I started signing the thing on their behalf.

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