Sculpture Walk

During our “Sculpture Walk” last Monday we got the chance to get out of the classroom for a little while and explore campus to see all of the eleven different sculptures.  There were a number of different sculptures that were super cool to check out, but I think my favorite out of all of them would have to be “Behind the Brain Plaza”, which is located outside of Merrill Hall right by the CVA building.  This sandstone and granite sculpture was finished on September 15th, 1999 by Brinsley Tyrrell.  This piece features four major sculptural elements including the brain, the seed, the fountain, and book garden which provides seating for people inside of the plaza.  Three of these four pieces were carved on site using huge blocks of sandstone.  Which makes it just incredible to take in once you walk through let alone just the style and symbolism behind it all.  Brinsley Tyrrell actually immigrated to Ohio with his family in 1968 from Surrey, England.  He found a one year position at Kent State before he was asked to stay, which he did until 1996.  After acquiring an old farmhouse with his Lillian in 1971, he renovated it into their own personal studio and really started working on large scale public art projects.  With the help of the Ohio Arts Council, his proposal for the garden was chosen and finished within two years.   Tyrrell originally had named each sculpture, but agreed to name the whole space as “Behind the Brain Plaza” at the university’s request.  Brinsley’s work has appeared in numerous locations and has received a lot of rewards and recognition for public spaces to selected exhibitions from the Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio Arts Council Fellowship, and the Govenor’s Award for the Arts in Ohio.  He also has another sculpture on campus called “Legend of the Iron Hoop” which was made with powdered iron which creates a different kind of atmosphere than the sculpted stone of this one does.  The sculpted stone creates its own mood though surrounded by the other pieces of the space.  The idea that this sculpture is less organic shaped but has more of a symbolic meaning and surrealistic style, pulls me in and makes me feel relaxed and astonished whenever I find myself walking through or past it.  My favorite part of this sculpture would be the brain itself just because I personally think it looks awesome and that the symbolism of the growth of knowledge and so forth it portrays makes it even more of a treat.  But the garden itself, with its bookshelf benches, and fountain provides a tranquil and unique environment to sit and relax in.  Especially whenever it is warm and comfortble outside.  A lot of the sculptures all around campus stick out and call out to your attention, but to me this “Behind the Brain Plaza” has an interesting meaning and placement for something out of the ordinary to make you appreciate the scene inside of the garden itself and in contrast to all the space outside of it.

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