Dual Purpose: The Brolly

29 Jul 2023

Platform was delighted to work with Sculpture Placement Group (SPG) and Blairtummock Housing Association to commission a new sculpture by Maria Gondek that has a dual purpose. The project evolved from SPG’s ongoing research into extending the lifespan of sculptures created for short-term exhibitions. 

Following an open call, Glasgow-based artist Maria Gondek was selected to undertake the commission resulting in the creation of a new sculpture named The Brolly. It is exhibited at Platform throughout the month of July before it is sited permanently in a public location in Easterhouse, facilitated by Blairtummock Housing Association. 

Part of the Dual Purpose Sculpture event series at Platform,  the sculpture was housed within the Studio Theatre at Platform, which opens out onto the Cafe Bar and inspired a series of creative workshops that will bring people together.

The sculpture itself is formed of galvanized steel and glass, which in part is covered by a diffraction film. This project is supported by Sculpture Placement Group and Platform in partnership with Blairtummock Housing Association. 

Thank you to the following funders and sponsorship: Independent Glass for supplying and cutting the glass panels; Sculpture & Design for fabrication; Gallery of Modern Art and Circular Arts Network for providing the seating and Wheatley Harris property manager at Crown Point Studios for providing the terrazzo tiles

Artist Maria Gondek shares a further insight into the project, the process and aspirations of the project and development of The Brolly.

The Brolly is very much about community, with two very different spots in mind, and it was my task to solve that puzzle. 
So, as I spent time at Platform and walked around Blairtummock Housing Association, a strong feeling of community arose. It was a feeling that people here care about where they live, they know their neighbours and they are proud to be part of their community.

In both places, Platform and Blairtummock Housing, there was an emphasis on gathering or coming together. So my thoughts very early on in the project went to the idea of a public square - a place to meet, to socialise, and where lots of activities take place. 

And what many public squares have, is a fountain as their centre point. I wanted to make some kind of fountain for the local community encouraging that sense of coming together.

Easterhouse has proven that you don't have to be wealthy to have a rich life. The people I have met here are hard-working, resilient, kind and they have a strong, positive outlook on the world. It is a glass that is always half-full.

So I wanted to embrace that admirable positivity in the sculpture.

I would say that rain in Scotland is an over saturated market, so I decided to make use of this free abundance and create a sculpture that turns the grey rainy day into a delightful spectacle. And so the idea of the rain-fountain formed in my head. A fountain that would show off the Scottish weather at its best.

The Brolly works in a way that when it rains, water is collected on the top tier where from it trickles down the lower tiers below imitating the running fountain. However, when the rain stops so does the fountain. On the opposite spectrum, I also wanted to emphasise the sunlight as it does not often appear. The triangles of diffraction film splits the suns rays into spectrums of rainbows that will scatter over the brolly's surroundings on a sunny day.

The Brolly is a rainbow/rain fountain! 

At Platform, the sculpture is installed to show off its best sides all at once. The sculpture is installed as a running fountain with a basin and a pump circulating the water as a never ending rainfall and the theatre lamps stages the diffraction film reflecting all the colours of the rainbow.

The hope is that The Brolly will attract and invite visitors and staff to take a break, have a coffee and meet up and for this place to become Platform's own local public square.

Visual Arts


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