The Wick - Lee Miller, Irmgard Seefried, Opera singer singing an aria from ‘Madame Butterfly,’ 1945

Discover Lee Miller

In March 1945 allied bombing destroyed the Vienna State Opera. ‘The flames sucked air from the staircases and halls,’ recalls the model, muse and photographer Lee Miller. ‘The auditorium and stage are gutted.’

This striking photograph shows the opera singer Irmgard Seefried singing an aria from Puccini’s Madame Butterfly amidst the ruins. Taken in 1945, it forms part of Miller’s captivating coverage of the Second World War. As an official US war correspondent, Miller documented everything from life at the front and German concentration camps, to women's wartime experiences and the liberation of Europe. Traumatised by the horrors of conflict, however, Miller gradually disappeared from public view.
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The Wick - Discover Louise Bourgeois

Discover Louise Bourgeois

Louise Bourgeois (1911–2010) is often referred to as the reluctant hero of feminist art. Best known for her giant spider sculptures, the artist explored patriarchy, motherhood and what it meant for women to be subjects rather than objects of art.  Bourgeois’s gigantic series of spider sculptures are arguably her most iconic works, which are nightmarish and sublime in equal measure. Bourgeois once explained that she chose the spider as a subject because its traits reminded her of her mother.

“She was deliberate, clever, patient, soothing, reasonable, dainty, subtle, indispensable, neat, and as useful as a spider”. Having been the subject of many public exhibitions around the world from London’s TATE Modern, Rockefeller Centre, New York and Bilbao, Spain, Bourgeois’s spiders have become some of the most widely recognizable sculptures in the world.
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The Wick - Anish Kapoor, Sky Mirror, 2014

Dream Anish Kapoor

Contemplating the expanse, the magic and the beauty of nature, Anish Kapoor’s ‘Sky Mirror’ brings the sky down to the earth. A dazzling feat of light and reflection – signature elements of Kapoor’s style – the work was the centrepiece of the artist’s Houghton Hall exhibition in 2020.

Unveiled in 2001, Sky Mirror was commissioned by the Nottingham Playhouse, and versions of the sculpture now exist all over the world, including at the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, Russia. A celebration of the ever-changing environment, it implores us to look up and around – a reminder that nature is the greatest work of art.
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The Wick - Hades' Head, Kevin Francis Gray, 2017

Dream Kevin Francis Gray

Evocative and mysterious, Kevin Francis Gray’s sculptures transcend the art of mere likeness. Working at the intersection between the abstract and the figurative, the Irish artist experiments at the level of form and texture to imbue his portraits with a psychological depth – bringing life and character to such subjects as Hades.

Francis Gray’s rendering of his King of the Underworld is intimidating and humorous in equal measure. Working first in clay before translating into marble, you can see the mark of the sculptor’s hands and tools, bringing a fluidity to his work – here in fittingly grand display at the Villa Santo Sospir in France.
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The Wick - Unity, Hank Willis Thomas, 2019

Discover Hank Willis Thomas

Activist art. In the wake of urgent conversations around racial injustice and inequality, the powerful symbolism of Hank Willis Thomas’ sculptures has gained the artist an international platform and momentum. Each one an ode to the importance of unity – as is the title of this 22-foot sculpture, installed in Brooklyn, New York in 2019 – his works are a hopeful, levelling reminder for us to come together and embrace our common humanity.

‘The large-scale sculpture of a bronze arm pointing toward the sky is intended to convey to a wide audience a myriad of ideas about individual and collective identity, ambition, and perseverance,’ says Thomas – whose vision looks set to continue lighting the world’s way.
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The Wick - Discover Henry Moore

Discover Henry Moore

Henry Moore (1898-1986) was a British sculptor and graphic artist known for his large sculptures in stone and bronze. He is one of the most important artists of the twentieth century, and his works are found around the world – both inside and outside museums, and in and outside cities. Moore engaged the abstract, the primitive, the surreal and the classical in forms which are accessible and familiar whilst they are avant-garde. His large-scale works are often overwhelming in their physicality which enabled him to create a heightened relation between the sculpture, the site and the viewer.
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The Wick - Dream Donald Judd

Dream Donald Judd

Donald Judd (1928-1994) had a rigorous visual vocabulary that sought clear and definite objects as its primary mode of articulation. His sculptures offer insight into his singular commitment to material, colour, and proportion. Judd is one of the most significant American artists of the postwar period and his works have come to define what has been referred to as Minimalist art, (a label to which the artist strongly objected on the grounds of its generality). The work of Donald Judd is included in numerous museum collections. Permanent installations of the artist’s work can be found at Judd Foundation spaces in New York City and Marfa, Texas, along with the neighbouring Chinati Foundation.
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The Wick - Fountain of Youth, Kathleen Ryan, 2018

Discover Kathleen Ryan

New York-based artist Kathleen Ryan gathers inspiration for her oversized sculptures from natural sources: orchards, vineyards, and mineral mines below the earth’s crust. Ryan portrays the mouldy substances through precious and semi-precious gemstones like amethyst, quartz, and marble. The materials’ durability and longevity directly contrast the decay they represent. Speaking about her work, ‘They’re not just opulent, there’s an inherent sense of decline built into them,” she says, “which is also something that’s happening in the world: The economy is inflating, but so is wealth inequality, all at the expense of the environment.”
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The Wick - Discover Nick Hornby

Discover Nick Hornby

Figuration meets abstraction in the work of Nick Hornby, often in a fresh and illusory way. Twofold, as explained by the artist himself, was inspired by bringing together the work of Michelangelo and Kandinsky – two figures whose artworks, though polar apart, ‘are arguably pinnacles of their fields’.

Commissioned by Harlow Art Trust (Hornby’s first permanent public art commission), the sculpture was unveiled in 2019 as the 100th piece in Harlow’s art collection. In doing so, it joins the illustrious ranks of Barbara Hepworth and Auguste Rodin, offering new perspectives on their works and deconstructing conventions and categories within art.
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