Large Spade Venus, cast 1 of an edition of 4, is typical of Turnbull's work in which he combines the form of a utilitarian object with an elusive kind of figuration. This sculpture reveals Turnbull's interest in sculpture as metamorphosis. The viewer is asked to consider Large Spade Venus in the way we might look at objects from the past, which, through the passage of time, have taken on the identity of a work of art. Turnbull says, “We now no longer look at them in relationship to their utility, but for their sculptural quality, perhaps because they were sympathetically formed in the first place.” Another key formal aspect of Large Spade Venus is the way in which Turnbull has used a broad form, which from the front is almost confrontational but in profile is very narrow, to twist sculptural space, trying to make it elastic, a concept that can be traced in much of his practice.
All the sculptures in this edition have the same green patina. Colour is important in Turnbull's work. He feels that certain materials, bronze in particular, take colour well, and the colour chosen has much to do with the emotional content of the work: “One of the things about bronze is the way that it takes a range of colours that other metals don't.”