CORPUS: A series of standing stones that engage and reflect on the anatomy and psyche of being human

Matthew Dalziel (Artist), Louise Scullion (Artist)

Research output: Other contribution

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Abstract

Commissioned in Jan 2017 by the University of Cambridge for the grounds of their new Cappella Building and development (later renamed The Jeffery Cheah Biomedical Building) which drew together four institutes onto one site. Each of the institutes explore human health at a cellular level, from the different specialisms of Immunology, Stem Cell Research, Haematology and therapeutics. Dalziel + Scullion had to imagine and design an artwork which spoke to this context, was unique and distinctive and was of international standing in the art-world
Dalziel + Scullion were commissioned in Jan 2017 by the University of Cambridge to create a permanent large-scale artwork for the grounds of their new Cappella Building and development which will draw together four institutes on one site. Each of the institutes will explore human health at a cellular level, but from the different specialisms of Immunology, Stem Cell Research, Haematology and therapeutics.
Dalziel + Scullion had to imagine and design an artwork which spoke to this context, was unique and distinctive and was of international standing in the art-world.

CORPUS consists of seven structures, which appear like a series of standing stones, reminiscent of abstracted vertebra shapes. As the stones are of human scale, their forms invite interaction. People who engage with the work will discover the external profile of each has been determined by the proportions of the human figure and echo a series of positions from recumbent through to standing. Whilst the structures effectively act as an individual seat or bench, the various forms encourage different ways to sit, recline, lie or lean on their cool stony surfaces. The artwork allows the user to experience alternative perspectives and physical sensations challenging our awareness of our own bodies and altering our perception of the space around them. 

To research and test the forms a structure was made that incorporated the inners of a car seat, allowing subtle angles to be achieved, to try out potential shapes and dimensions for each of the proposed CORPUS structures. A variety of body shapes were then measured on the structure as were the statistics accessed via designs for NASA pilot (male & female) cockpit designs. Our calculations were informed initially by out original wooden maquettes, then by the structural tolerances of the materials we would ultimately be casting with (minimum wall thicknesses of 100mm and avoiding undulations that may have resulted in rain pooling on horizontal surfaces etc), and finally by the physical experiments and stats previously described.

Our final designs were reviewed by Dr Graham Arnold of the Department of Orthopaedic & Trauma Surgery at the University of Dundee. Graham Arnold has over 35 years’ experience as a professional electronic design engineer developing equipment and instrumentation for a variety of industries including Naval, Automotive, Meteorological, Military, Oil and Medical.
Original languageEnglish
TypePermanent outdoor artwork
Media of outputcast stone
Place of PublicationUniversity of Cambridge
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2019

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    Scullion, Louise

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