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Fountain Pen by Michael Craig-Martin unveiled in Oxford

by Theresa Thompson, Arts Correspondent

“The most daring of all my sculptures”

Sir Michael Craig-Martin RA this week unveiled his first public work of art in the UK: a giant magenta pink Fountain Pen that stands balancing on its nib on the forecourt of Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government.

The open pavement in front of the circular ultra-modern Blavatnik School, designed by Herzog and DeMeuron, is at the edge of Jericho, the historic printing quarter of Oxford and the city’s first planned suburb.

For the Irish born artist Craig-Martin, who was an influential teacher at Goldsmiths College, London, and is best known for mentoring the Young British Artists (the ‘YBAs’) in the late 1980s, the position of the sculpture is important, not only intending to inspire the university’s students but also the rest of the city.

“It’s right on the border between the university and, so in relation to the university, but it also has meaning to school kids,” the artist says. “It’s not an image that is exclusive — it’s accessible to all.”

Sir Michael Craig-Martin with his first public work of art. Photo: Theresa Thompson

At the unveiling, he said that the fountain pen is one of those objects that is old fashioned; it refers to the past, and is an object used when we reach to sign important documents. “There is a grandeur to it.”

Likewise, there is grandeur to this five-metre-tall work of art – a work that Craig-Martin calls the “most daring of all my sculptures.”


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