Friday, March 1, 2013

It's Nice, but . . .

it's not the same thing.

In Sewanee's duPont Library periodicals reading room, David Henderson's sculpture A Brief History of Aviation has been installed. Enter the room from a bank of computers, and you'll see a large copy machine directly across the opening in a work room. Move to the Georgia Avenue window, turn, and see a painting of one of Sewanee's notables on the opposite wall. Stand under the sculpture, look up, and see the sound-treated ceiling. It's an interesting sculpture, designed in imitation of Bath Abbey's fan vaulting over the nave, but for me a cold one, perhaps because of its location, perhaps because of its materials, perhaps because of its topsy-turvy-turned-on-the-side perspective.

I've been to Bath twice, and both times I was gobsmacked by the Abbey: angels climb ladders on two towers banking the entrance; flying buttresses support the walls and roof; and the 200+-foot nave rises to 75 feet. For me, the Abbey is a magical space, in a magical town, surrounded by magical countryside.

I saw the exhibit at the library, I read the informational panel, and then I came home and found photographs and videos that remind me of long-ago though not forgotten pleasure.

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