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Black Blackbird and Other Sculptures

By Hamish Black, May 2016

Black Blackbird and Other Sculptures by the distinguished sculptor Hamish Black, in The Secret Garden, was the prelude to a programme of temporary exhibitions featuring established sculptors and the finest emerging talent. This first exhibition featured three major works, all of which had been inspired by sound, and formed part of Hamish Black's ‘Sounds Like’ series.

Black Blackbird, a site-specific sculpture, was specially commissioned by the Trustees of the Antony Dale Trust, who run the Secret Garden. The work is ten metres long, and is made up of over 200 semi-circles, which were been charred black.

The wood for this sculpture is elm that fell in Brighton in the Great Hurricane of 1987. Soon after the hurricane, Hamish Black submitted his winning entry for the Great Hurricane Sculpture Competition, a national competition organised by Brighton Council. His award included the wood of 40 fallen elm trees, with which he created Tree House, a major carved construction for Valley Gardens. He carefully preserved the wood that was not needed for this sculpture, to be used in the future for a commission that he considered to be of special merit. 2016 represented the thirtieth year since the Great Hurricane, and Hamish chose to return the elms to Brighton in the form of Black Blackbird.

The sculpture Black Blackbird, a fascinating and highly original sculpture, is visually most impressive, created specifically for its situation in the Secret Garden, and could be enjoyed and appreciated on this level alone. When studied from different angles, it has an even deeper resonance: it ‘represents’ physically the familiar zig zag graphic of a soundwave recording of a blackbird. The peaks and troughs of the soundwave are represented by the different sizes of semi-circles - their size depending on volume, from large to small -arranged along the time line.

Hear the song! (click the YouTube link, left)


Bronze, Limited edition of 25, H-270mm, W-280mm, D-280mm

This exciting sculpture represents physically the sound of a kick when recorded in stereo and displayed as soundwaves. The upper and lower hemispheres of the sculpture each represent one side of a stereo recording. The solidity of the goalkeeper’s gloves balances and cushions an apparently spinning object. Hamish has used the medium of bronze in a most creative and original way to celebrate a very popular sport.

Kick was commissioned by Art at the Edge for ‘Sculpture and Sport’ – a celebration of sport and diversity – and formed part of the Paralympics Sponsorship Touring Exhibition. This project brought together 30 of Britain’s best established and up and coming sculptors to interpret individual sporting disciplines.

Sounds Like O

Bronze, 18cm high, unique

This fascinating sculpture represents physically the soundwave made when blowing into the top of a bottle. Sculpture commissioned by the Pangolin Gallery.

Exhibition supported by Foyle Foundation.

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