Paul Bonomini

Spiritum (Breath)

Galvanised steel ducting

Height : 325cm   Width : 240cm   Depth : 240cm  

In responding to the theme 'Coming up for Air' I was reminded of James Lovelock's Gaia hypothesis; Which proposes that living and non-living parts of the Earth form a complex interacting system that can be thought of as a single organism. The hypothesis postulates that the biosphere has a regulatory effect on the Earth's environment that acts to sustain life. The lack of respect we humans have had for Gaia, through the damage done to rainforests and the reduction in planetary biodiversity is testing Gaia's capacity to minimize the effects of the addition of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, associated with runaway global warming.

My sculpture 'Spiritum' could be seen as part of a complex mechanism or organism pushing its way through to the surface of the earth, struggling to break free, seeking out the air. The steel ducts like tangled aerial roots disappear back into the ground re-emerging elsewhere, suggestive of a vast subterranean network, the lungs of the planet perhaps. My choice of galvanised steel is influenced by the direction of my current practice, using sustainable and recyclable materials, and the utilitarian design style of the 1950's.

This sculpture was very kindly sponsored by i-sells.co.uk The UK's leading ducting and ventilation supplier.

Supporting Materials


Main Image: The Skylon was a futuristic-looking, slender, vertical, cigar-shaped steel tensegrity structure located by the Thames in London, that gave the illusion of 'floating' above the ground, built in 1951 for the Festival of Britain. I think it would still look very contemporary today.
Inset Image: Exhibition Dome.

Main Image: Two views of The Skylon.
Applied Image: 1950's Galvanised Dustbin, Milk Churn, Watering Can and Pipe work.
I use utilitarian 1950's style galvanised steel for my sculpture spiritum, which is juxtaposed nicely with the ' steel tensegrity structure in this image of the Skylon.

Here is a Google Earth view of St Johns Church, and some further images of the maquette for my sculpture 'Spiritum' The pieces you see here are constructed from plastic plumbers pipe. The finished work will be made in galvanised steel, which was very kindly sponsored by i-sells.co.uk ducting and ventilation suppliers. It will stand approx 3.5 metres high.

Main Image: Galvanised ducting, pre-build.
Inset Image: 'Spiritum' Maquette.

My sculpture 'Spiritum' could be seen as part of a complex mechanism or organism pushing its way through to the surface of the earth, struggling to break free, seeking out the air. The steel ducts like tangled aerial roots disappear back into the ground re-emerging elsewhere, suggestive of a vast subterranean network, the lungs of the planet perhaps. My choice of galvanised steel is influenced by the direction of my current practice, using sustainable and recyclable materials, and the utilitarian design style of the 1950's.

This sculpture was very kindly sponsored by i-sells.co.uk ducting and ventilation suppliers.