Installation of a God of The Forge

Brasenose installed a sculpture by noted artist Sir Eduardo Paolozzi in Old Quad 27 September – 2 October. The work is a god of the forge. Its body represents Hephaestus (Vulcan): god of blacksmiths, metalworking, carpenters, craftsmen, artisans, sculptors, metallurgy, fire, and volcanoes. The head is that of the artist. It stands 149cm tall and weighs 150 Kg.

God of the forge is part of the Ingram Collection of C20th British art that is being lent to the College for the year 2019-20. Other items from the collection are on display in the Amersi Lecture room, the Platnauer Room, and the staircase leading down from the Rotunda.

Installation was supervised by Paul Beatson of Crown Fine Art – a company specialising in the transport of art works. It was a complex 4-day operation that involved several departments of Brasenose who worked together on the project.

Day 1

Delivery of the god of the forge. A suitable, secure ground-floor holding area was identified and a security plan drawn up that calibrated risk, taking into account the fact that the Blenheim gold WC gang remain at large.

Day 2

Fine Art graduate and temporary Porter  Robyn Salt joined Jo Baring (aluma and Curator of the Ingram Collection) to advise  on orientation of the sculpture using a cardboard maquette. The intended site in Old Quad selected by Jo and Ian Kiaer (Curator of Pictures) proved problematic after University Parks detected a hidden underground cable. Porters, IT, Workshop joined with Crown Fine Art and University Parks in assessing whether installation could go ahead as planned. After a CT scan and the digging of an exploratory trenches  and rejection of installation on a raised plinth, site A was abandoned and an alternative plot chosen. A security assessment established that CCTV could provide night-time surveillance of site B.

The base area was excavated and 300 Kg of concrete laid. With assistance of Medic Brad Johnson, Robyn broke the first sod of earth.

Day 3

God of the forge wheeled out and attached to a hoist apparatus permitting the final stages of installation to be carried out by Paul. Unfortunately, complications arose in securing the god to the base with the steel pins. Due to risk of lightning strike, the installation was called off for safety reasons. Throughout the day the ST and Accommodation Manager were on hand at time to reassure spectators that the hooded figure hung from the hoist was not an exercise in extraordinary rendition linked to new student disciplinary procedures.

Development met with Jo Baring to thank Chris Ingram (creator of the collection and Foundation) for his philanthropy.

Day 4

Second attempt at installation completed successfully aided by much improved sunny weather. At the conclusion of installation, the HR Manager completed right to work checks and induction procedures for Brasenose’s newest recruit.

Thanks to the Senior Tutor for the text