New sculpture by Oliver Barratt OS

A new sculpture by Oliver Barratt, OS and teacher of Art, has been installed on campus near the Global Study Centre and Johnson Library.

New Stories was presented to the school by the Governors in 2019 recognition of the work of Dr Katy Ricks. It is a tall, upward-driving, complex configuration of lines and curves that twist their way through space with elegance and determination; a stable but filigree structure that is stretching, clear and enigmatic.

A balance of taut knotty forms with strong clear lines articulates the space of the sculpture, creating openings, opportunities and enclosures, and there are references to neurons, nebulae, elaborate alliances, poetic simplicity and calligraphic exuberance. It is a fitting way to remember Dr Ricks, who led the school with great energy, vision and sensitivity for 17 years.

Placed beside a path towards the centre of the school campus, there is a visual echo of another of Barratt’s sculptures, Thinking Aloud, which stands nearby behind Claridge House. Commissioned by the Friends of Sevenoaks in 2014, this is a large bronze piece painted a vivid orange, formed from a complex of curves that describe the intuitive but disciplined act of thinking.

Oliver Barratt shows regularly in the UK and around the world, including The Guggenheim, Venice and Royal Academy, London. His commissions range from the Everest Memorial at Base Camp of Mount Everest, Nepal to a commission for the City of Liverpool as European City of Culture. He left Sevenoaks School in 1979 and studied sculpture at Falmouth School of Art, graduating in 1985. He was awarded the Henry Moore Fellowship in 1990.

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