A giant name in the creative world and maker of equally giant sculptures, Sir Eduardo Paolozzi’s work spans all manner of mediums. One of Britain’s most significant twentieth century artists, in the 1940s his dada and surrealist-inspired collages anticipated Pop Art. His study of machines fed his fascination with science, as well as a fear of the destructive capabilities of technology, especially in light of the Vietnam War. His work explores the joys, fears and wonders of our modern era, and his last sculpure ever made, London to Paris, was commissioned by the Cass Sculpture Foundation in 2000.
A Scottish artist who was awarded a CBE and KBE, Paolozzi was promoted to the office of Her Majesty's Sculptor in Ordinary for Scotland and knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1988.
But what inspired his final sculpture?
After studying at Edinburgh College of Art, Central Saint Martins and the Slade School of Art (phew!), Paolozzi went on to work in Paris before settling for a studio in Chelsea, London. His family’s roots in Italy ensured that every year from the age of nine and fifteen, Paolozzi travelled from Edinburgh to Milan. Fascinated by this train journey, and the changes in London and Paris, he took inspiration to create London to Paris: a 25ft bronze and timber masterpiece depicting a body of parts aboard a railway wagon.
And now the majestic sculpture is being gloriously restored by the Cass Sculpture Foundation and a dedicated team from Plowden Smith.
Dismantled piece by piece so that the Iroko (African Teak) wooden frame can be cleaned and repaired with authentic materials, London to Paris returns to its authentic form depicting an inspiration of memories of childhood railway journeys, elements of a sequence that are organised into a sculptural collage.
The Cass Sculpture Foundation looks forward to unveiling the newly restored work when it re-opens for the 2015 summer season in April, and plans to sell the piece to a suitable collection in order to raise new funds for the continued support of emerging contemporary sculpture
Find out more about the Cass Sculpture Foundation here.