The hardest thing I have ever had to build was a railing for a curved staircase. The compound curve was simply beyond me. It was in the early days of the internet so there were no online tutorials, but honestly they all seem to call for tools I didn’t have anyway. I ended up renting an oxy-acetylene torch, sending almost everyone home and just melting the thing to the desired curve. It was not pretty.
I was thinking of that ill-fated project when I came across these two sculptures.
This is by artist Peter Coffin, and it makes my head hurt to think about how to figure those compound curves…
Both these sculptures are very Esher-like but this second one is actually able to be climbed.
This is Rewriting by Olafur Eliasson. It is installed in the courtyard of a Munich office building. I wonder if the people who work there come out and eat lunch on the stairs. I totally would.
I found this quote from Artist Michel de Broin about his own stair sculpture, he says what I want to say, but better:
“Stairs are a symbol of progress, of linear onward and upward, but [here] they become a continuous circuit. In the 18th century, we thought that progress would always continue, that things would always get better. And now we know that there is progress, but also regression; things go up but they also go down.”
I like that idea – moving forward is not always making things better, sometimes you have to work to just get back to where you started.
Peter Coffin images from here
Olafur Eliasson images from here