• A recent sculpture tour given as part of a SPAH Alumni event

    A recent sculpture tour given as part of a SPAH Alumni event

  • Gbolahan from the Philanthropy and Alumni Relations at Essex modeling the gift tag

    Gbolahan from the Philanthropy and Alumni Relations at Essex modeling the gift tag

Giving Tuesday- Elisa Bracher sculpture

Posted: 1 December 2015 by ESCALA

Dr Joanne Harwood’s blog (Director)

We are delighted to celebrate our beautiful and well-loved sculpture by Elisa Bracher today on Giving Tuesday. This untitled work has stood in Wivenhoe Park since 2001 when it was donated to the University by the artist and Galeria Marilia Razuk in São Paulo. Bracher’s untitled sculpture, made from an ethically sourced Brazilian hardwood called ‘angelim,’ has given students, staff and visitors to our Colchester Campus an enormous amount of pleasure over the years as you can see from our Flickr album. Like all artworks in ESCALA, Elisa’s sculpture not only enriches our educational environment, but it also provides opportunities to research, discuss and debate about the role of art and of artists in contemporary society. For example, few would imagine that as well as forging a successful career as a successful artist, Bracher is also Director of Instituto Acaia, a prize-winning charitable organisation in São Paulo that offers socio-educational activities to children, adolescents and families to support their learning and psychological well-being. This project started in 1997 when Bracher invited seven children to her studio to learn joinery and which was formalised as an organisation in 2001. We wish Bracher well with Instituto Acaia and thank her and Galeria Marilia Razuk for giving our staff and students an opportunity to learn about her work.

Dr Sarah Demelo’s blog (Collections Assistant)

The Bracher sculpture requires very little in terms of conservation. We aim to clean it every year by washing it every year with a very mild soap and soft brush. Bracher has stated that the sculpture could either be left in a raw state with a bit of cleaning, which is what we do, or it could be scrapped down and varnished every two years. In fact, the varnish that the artist recommends is usually used on yachts! We found a number of photographs of its original installation (here in a Flickr album) which required a very large crane to install up on the hill beside the (now) Ivor Crewe Lecture Hall. I wasn’t here at the time of its original installation but I would have loved to seen it happen!

Sebastian Bustamante’s blog (Curatorial Assistant)

Elisa Bracher’s Untitled (1999-2000) sculpture towers high: it is ESCALA’s largest, tallest and heaviest work. The monolithic structure complements the brutalist student accommodation towers which mark the landscape of our Colchester Campus. The visual impact of this work makes it a highlight of our guided sculpture tours, which always give us the opportunity to add to our research. Gisselle Giron, an MA student and ESCALA intern, recipient of an Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA)-Silberrad scholarship, and Jasmine Magaña, another of our former interns, led a successful tour in May 2015 for alumni of the School of Philosophy and Art History, adding to our research and making our art accessible to wider audiences. Object-based learning for all who are interested lies at the heart of our work and of our new space, opening in January 2016. This approach combines learning and seeing, as onlookers expand their horizons through use of our artworks, archive, research and expertise. On this ‘Giving Tuesday’ we are thankful to all our supporters, artists, students and colleagues and we remind those with the remotest intrigue in the art which surrounds them on Colchester campus that we can give back by providing unparalleled access to art from Latin America for the community here art Essex and wider community for research, education and innovation.

You find out more on the University of Essex' Giving Tuesday page: http://www.essex.ac.uk/givingtuesday/ 

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