To start our Work of the Week feature, we’ve picked this floor-standing sculpture by Anish Kapoor.
Ishi’s Light is over three metres tall and two and a half metres in diameter at its widest part. The light entering the structure creates a strip of brightness that looks as if you can almost touch it. The wide opening in its egg-shaped shell invites you to step into its glossy, deep red interior, and on accepting the invitation you can lose yourself in the highly-polished reflective surface. Visually and aurally immersive, it gives you both the disorientating feeling of being between different realms, and a comforting enveloping security.
Anish Kapoor explains:
“As you’re entering the work, the column of light is like a virtual object, it’s a physical object. It isn’t simply on the surface. I think something is occurring there with the reflections, which is what is important to me.”
Kapoor is a British sculptor of Indian birth, and is one of a generation of British-based sculptors who came to prominence during the 1980s. This work’s title refers to a work by abstract expressionist painter Barnett Newman Anna’s Light. Newman’s work was named for his mother, while Kapoor’s is named for his son Ishan.
The Work of the Week feature will showcase a work from the Tate collection each week.