steve messam sets inflatable interventions across scotland's borders sculpture park
 

steve messam sets inflatable interventions across scotland's borders sculpture park

in borders sculpture park, a new venue for contemporary sculpture set within the grounds of scotland’s picturesque mellerstain house, environmental artist steve messam has installed a trio of large-scale, inflatable artworks that engage with the landscape. the exhibition, titled ‘XXX’, blends the 18th century setting of the famous william and robert adam-designed house with a bold sculptural presence, disrupting and transforming the way visitors perceive the site.


‘pointed’ emerges from the roofline of an empty building

 

 

messam has integrated three inflatable, fabric sculptures into the buildings and landscape of the borders sculpture park at mellerstain house. all white in color, the trio of structures emerges as a contemporary echo of the marble statues originally envisaged to adorn the gardens, establishing a dialogue between past and present.


the installation extends out from the structure’s long-absent pitched roof

 

 

‘scattered’ comprises a series of spheres that seemingly float like enormous opaque bubbles on the surface of the property’s lake, punctuating one of the most known and impressive views of mellerstain. spanning up to four meters in diameter, the shapes interrupt the space of the water and play with its scale, surface and light. ‘pointed’ emerges from the roofline of a building and extends out from its long-absent pitched roof. 28 elongated peaks rise more than three meters in the air, mimicking the silhouette of a starburst or stylized explosion frozen in time. finally, ‘towered’ materializes from the curved walls of the ruin of an old laundry with column-like forms reaching over eight meters high. messam extends the structure’s uncertain origin with new narratives that play with their inherent sense of wonder.


28 elongated peaks rise more than three meters in the air

 

 

‘in the use of historical buildings and the designed landscape, XXX draws on the architectural significance of both the rare complete robert adam house and the historically important sir reginald blomfield redesigned gardens at mellerstain,’ messam says. ‘as interventions, the sculptures speak the language of scale – all three are bigger than a house. as studies in scale and form, these artworks have to be directly experienced in the environment to be fully appreciated, so i hope they will encourage even more people to visit this wonderful architectural gem in the scottish borders.’


‘towered’ materializes from the curved walls of the ruin of an old laundry


column-like forms reach over eight meters in height


messam plays with the structure’s inherent sense of wonder


‘scattered’ comprises a series of spheres that seemingly float like enormous opaque bubbles


situated on the surface of the property’s lake, the orbs punctuate one of the most known views of mellerstain


spanning up to four meters in diameter, the shapes play with the water’s scale, surface and light

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