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The Millennium Bridge: Collaborating with Norman Foster


Anthony Caro Artist
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I'm very interested in the idea of a sculpture building, and... well, the idea of interior space interests me a lot, and the idea... for example, I made a sculpture with Elena Foster. Did you ever see it? It was... it was a sort of... it opened up. It was called "Open Secret". And when, I think, Gehry and... and Norman saw this and they said, ‘It's... it's an architecture, a piece... it's a building’. I'd love to make it into a building – a building that the whole roof opened, a building that... you know, it... that was like a sculpture but ended up by being a building. I'd love to do something like that. I don't want to get into the mechanical stuff at all, no, not as the real architecture stuff at all.

[Q] Did you use to build tree huts and things when you were a kid?

Oh yeah, everybody does. You know, I built things for the children and so on but I didn't... it didn't mean anything to me though.  Except when I built the "Child's Tower"; that was like that. It was like that; it was like a... a place that you could discover your body in... in a way. And when I built a larger version for the Tate for the... the steel one and the door was too small, I made it bigger. It didn't work when it was bigger; you had to... I mean, squeezing through it made sense so I... I changed it back again. It has to be kind of... it has to be awkward. It has to be a thing that you are conscious of your body in those... those buildings. They're not buildings; they are... they are a development of sculpture. I love the idea of a sculpture which has no outside and has only inside.

British sculptor Sir Anthony Caro (1924-2013) came to prominence in 1963 after a show at the Whitechapel Gallery. Keen to create a more direct interaction with the viewer he placed pieces directly on the ground, rather than on plinths, a technique now widely used. He held many honorary degrees and was knighted in 1987.

Listeners: Tim Marlow

Tim Marlow is a writer, broadcaster and art historian. He founded "Tate: The Art Magazine" in 1993 and was presenter of Radio 4 arts programme "Kaleidoscope" from 1991 to 1998, for which he won a Sony Award. He has presented art programme's on BBC 1, Channel 4 and Channel 5, including a documentary about JMW Turner, and written about art and culture for various British newspapers and magazines including "The Guardian", "The Times" and "Blueprint" He is Director of Exhibitions at the White Cube gallery in London as well as a visiting lecturer at Winchester School of Art, an examiner on the Sculpture MA there and former creative director of Sculpture at Goodwood

Tags: Open Secret, Child's Tower, Elena Foster, Frank Gehry, Norman Foster

Duration: 1 minute, 50 seconds

Date story recorded: November 2005

Date story went live: 24 January 2008