Friday, March 9, 2012


At the entrance to the National Portrait Gallery is this huge bright orange blob. It's a sculpture called Geo Face Distributor, made in 2009 by James Angus. Constructed of cast aluminium with enamel paint, it was commissioned to celebrate the launch of the new National Portrait Gallery.

The description of the sculpture says: "Australian artist James Angus has long been interested in how the visual forms of physics, biology and mathematics inform our perceptions of time, space, scale, mass and movement. In viewing this sculpture we become aware of our innate capacity to recognise and respond to the faces of others, and of our tendency to see figurative shapes in the abstract forms of nature."

Figurative shapes perhaps, but I can't see faces in this. I'm not convinced it's the best 'face' for a portrait gallery - after all, portraits are representations of specific people - but that's not to say I don't like it, and I've seen how people respond to it: children especially can't resist touching it and checking it from all angles.

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