In Secrecy and Solitude

Portland, Horton stone
200 x 100 x 200 cm
Edition of 1

Set with care in a quiet corner of the copse, the circular Purbeck stone base for In Secrecy and Solitude takes the place of the gallery floor. Three geometric forms are set in considered relationship with the lines incised into this base. The sculpture is calm, balanced and harmonious, the physical form giving truth to the spiritual.

Kenny has been working with Portland stone since the early 1980’s. His practice often play with the contrast between white limestones, and the colourful greens and soft golden browns of Hornton stone which comes from the Midlands, near Banbury, and others which give variety in texture, colour and finish.

Geometry is put to use in many ways in Kenny's sculpture: to define shape in line and volume, to achieve balance and proportion and to invoke a structural spirituality harking back to the architects of classical Greece and artists of the Renaissance. Line brings together the diverse elements in his sculpture, and the geometry gives tranquillity and calmness.

The notion of movement in such quiet and still work can be found in Kenny's use of the diagonal, a line rising between the horizontal and vertical which might also be the line which holds the composition of the whole in balance.


About The Artist

Drawing and sculpture are seemingly indivisible in Michael Kenny's work. He celebrates the physical qualities of line, whether drawn on smooth or textured paper or across a piece of stone, in graphite or coloured pigment drawing for Kenny 'is a means of understanding, of searching for order out of chaos through images.' His work is also concerned with geometry, symmetry and asymmetry and stones with differing qualities are sometimes deliberately brought together in one piece to create conflict and juxtaposition. The grainy dark greens and browns of Hornton stone contrasting with the cool, smooth texture of Portland stone or the warmer hue of Bath stone. In his later work Kenny introduced blue-grey Kilkenny marble and white Carrara marbles into his compositions, adding to the range of colour and surface quality in his sculpture. Strong diagonals and verticals in both solid form and line pull our attention towards notions of gravity which are vital in his work.

Michael Kenny

Born: 1941