Princesshay redevelopment has a
number of public art pieces to be incorporated into the shopping
complex. This is the first to be completed and unveiled.
Created by Patricia McKinnon-Day, this piece has been designed to integrate with the St Catherine's Almshouses site, and not only challenge the viewer as a work of art, but to also tell some of the story of the almshouses.
The piece consists of sealed glass panels in the shape of medieval doors. Sealed into each door are small archaeological finds - pieces of medieval pottery, Victorian cod bottles and even a 2000's Coke can. Each object is placed at a height from the ground to reflect its place in time. The lower the object, the older it is. Some have questioned the Coke can - a justification for it has been that it not only reflects our age, but that the Coke can has itself changed in design over the last 50 years, making the dating of future archaeological finds comparatively easy. Personally, I feel that it is an icon of our age, just as a Force box, or Oxo tins are icons of previous ages.
The second part of the piece can be found on the ground - McKinnon-Day was given access to the Chapter Acts books for the almshouses and extracted quotes which have been engraved into the paving stones. It is in these quotes that the daily business of the almshouses is recorded. See St Catherine's Chapel for more on these extracts from the Chapter Acts.
Altogether, an interesting artwork that enhances the space - lets hope the rest of the planned artworks are as successful.
A 19th century bottle and piece of broken pottery embedded in one of the glass panels of Marking Time. One of the paving stones.
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