|Mobray Park Gate, Sunderland
This commission is very special.
Sunderland is my hometown. The position of the Mowbray
Park gate is where I stood to catch the tram to school
each day. The museum itself is the place in which, as
a very young child on visits with my grandfather, my
imagination was first fired. I had a one-woman exhibition
in the museum in I974. The commission from the City of
Sunderland was for a gate to hang at the main entrance
to Mowbray Park, a 19th century garden on the grand scale,
and the new contemporary glass and steel wing of the
museum designed by the architect Michael Glen. The contents
of the museum inspired the design of the gate: nature
in flower forms and a huge ammonite represent, the garden
and the museum’s extensive collection of fossils,
found in seams of northern coal; sextants and instruments
of navigation; maps and the wheels of mine shafts; lighthouse
lights and the architectural plans of ships represent the
industry of the area. All cross and intertwine to create
the structure of the gate.
The gate is made of mild steel sections, cut by water-jet,
welded together into a single curve and backed with light
green glass. The glass reflects the sky and the changing
weather. Both the surrounding architecture and the park
appear suspended in its transparent surface.
The gate, which slides into position on a curved track,
becomes a mural in the daytime, when the park is open.
At night, when the park is closed, the gate is wound into
its final closed position. As late summer sunshine strikes
the painted steel, its patterns fall into a sunlit space
and the unexpected happens.
MOWBRAY PARK GATE
A SEMI-CIRCULAR SLIDING GATE, WHICH FORMS A MURAL WHEN
MILD STEEL AND INDUSTRIAL PAINT
CITY OF SUNDERLAND
5 M X 3 M X 12 CM DEEP
PHOTOGRAPHS: GEORGE GAMMER (MODEL), MICHAEL GLEN & KEITH
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Mobray Park Gate, Sunderland
Computer Drawing for Mobray Park Gate, Sunderland