Lot 5
  • 5

Bruce Munro

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  • Bruce Munro
  • Time and Again
  • 108 engraved stainless steel lily pads
  • diameter: 99cm. 39in. (each)
  • overall: variable

Catalogue Note

Time and Again was conceived specifically for the renowned Canal Pond at Chatsworth House. The Canal Pond was dug between 1702 and 1703 and for nearly 150 years boasted the highest fountain in the country. In the winter months, before the invention of the refrigerator, ice from the pond was used to supply the house kitchens.

On a recent visit to Chatsworth house and gardens, Bruce Munro was inspired to create an installation comprising 108 stainless steel lily pads, which are individually tethered to the pond bed and appear to float on the water’s surface. Chatsworth House is central to the history of the waterlily in Britain: seeds from the giant waterlily Victoria regia were sent to Kew from the Amazon in 1836; however, when it had failed to flower in Kew Gardens, gardener and architect Joseph Paxton decided to try the glasshouse at Chatsworth, where it flourished and flowered, with its dramatic and majestic leaves growing to 4.5 feet in diameter within two months. The lilies at Chatsworth would provide Paxton with the inspiration for his design for the infamous Crystal Palace which housed the Great Exhibition of 1851.

The lily is not new to Munro’s work; in fact it is a continuation of a theme that began in 2012, when the artist populated one of the lakes at Longwood Gardens with CDs in lily formations. Illuminated by sunlight, their beauty and innovation attracted widespread attention and acclaim. The lily appealed to Munro for its simplicity and symmetry, which lent itself to the creation of the routines and patterns that have often been central to the artist’s work.

Time and Again is in fact a culmination of many of the themes which Munro has explored throughout his career. The shape of the lily pad simulates a clock face which in the present work serves as a visual metaphor for the artist’s exploration of how time has impacted on his work and will continue to do so in the future; Munro explains, ‘It is a personal reflection and appreciation that ‘time present’ is linked to a significant past and an as yet undefined future’.