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Flanagan’s work of this period was highly innovative and departed from the sculptural practice of his tutors, notably in his choice of ‘un-sculptural’ materials. He filled pre-stitched cloth ‘skins’ with amorphous matter (often sand and wet plaster) to produce bulging, organic forms. As Flanagan explains: ‘I liked the idea that the shapes virtually made themselves’. The title is a palindrome. Not only does it undermine any single meaning but it reiterates Flanagan’s interest in the experimental possibilities for sculpture. This work enjoyed swift acclaim and appeared in his first solo show at the Rowan Gallery in 1966, the summer after he graduated.

May 2007