01/04/2013

Matthew Picton - Dresden 1945

Inspiration from the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry.

'Dresden 1945' shows how the city was almost completely destroyed in the Second War World. It is based on a map of the city of Dreseden and is made of burnt and partially destroyed musical scores of Wagner's Ring of the Nibelung, a man who had involvement in the revolution, and was influenced by destructive ideas. The sculpture gives a reminder of all the lives lost in Dreseden and the loss of cultural achievements.

Before Destruction

Picton firstly crafts the map with foam and paper of the buildings, showing how the city was before. This is then burnt to show where the destruction happened, making for a piece with so much intricate detail. There are also burn holes added, which could be showing the loss of life and the destruction of the buildings.
After Destruction


Maps would usually be rectangular, whereas this is circle giving it more elegance. The circle also resembles a target, which the city was when bombed.

It was giving an even more 3D look by the lighting in the gallery, as it cast deep sharp shadows from the structures buildings; it made them look more real and tall. It also made shadows of the type around the edge the right way around so it could be read, and made it more noticeable. The lack of colour allows for the piece to be simple so the shape of the structure can be most important feature, so the loss and devastation will be the strongest.

Pictons other work is similar; he creates other cities looking at the history and culture of each place. He often looks at the cities as living organisms, as subjects with history, rather than an object.


London 1940 shows the different wards of east London during the Second World War. It was created with the original records of the bomb damage. It showed the damage to every street and building, it was also colour coded to reflect the level of destruction. Picton’s sculptures were burned to re-create the record. It’s a powerful visual reminding of the ruined state in which London was in.
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