A massive turbine blade, manufactured by Hull employees at the new Siemens factory in Hull, was transported overnight to Hull’s city centre. As Made in Hull was packed down, the blade was en route to kick-off the next phase of Hull 2017 – Look Up. But it wasn’t just any old blade. It was Blade. A temporary, readymade artwork, we’re told.
Conceived by artist Nayan Kulkarni, Blade has been created as the first of a programme of temporary artworks that will be thrust into and around the city’s public spaces and places.
Blade uses one of the first B75 rotor blades made in Hull and changes its status to that of a readymade artwork. At 75 metres it is the world’s largest, handmade fibreglass component – cast as a single element. According to the Hull Daily Mail, Blade weighs the equivalent of four bull elephants squeezed together on the same scales. Not sure why you’d go squeezing bull elephants on to the same scales, but it makes a change from comparing large things to football pitches and Olympic-size swimming pools.
Is it art? You decide. I think that’s the point. As I tweeted, I’m impressed by the bull elephant scale of this hefty public intervention. It is an enviable and undeniable feat of engineering and an interesting talking point. If it gets us questioning the relationship between corporate sponsorship of arts and cultural events (which will increase, as public funding declines), that’s also a worthwhile by-product.