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The One and The Many

fitzroyplace-byThomasRandall-Page-croppedPeter Randall-Page has a new monumental public sculpture now on view in London.

Way back in August 2014, Claire and I visited Peter’s studio and were privileged to see the work in progress. I have no idea how the stone could ever have got there through the high-edged windy lanes of deepest darkest Devon, or how it got out again. What I do know is that it is a stunning complement to Peter’s talk at TEDxExeter 2015 on “Theme and variation in nature and culture”, truly taking the long view.

The website for The One and The Many is beautiful, and extremely informative. And yesterday, Peter was on Radio 4’s Start the Week talking about the sculpture and ideas behind the project. The program is now available as a podcast.

Here’s a snippet from the publicity around the unveiling:

Commissioned for the recently opened Fitzroy Place, The One and The Many is primarily a celebration of human ingenuity and imagination. Embracing many cultures, the sculpture is situated in the heart of Fitzrovia, an area with a rich and vibrant cultural history and thriving creative community.

Carved from a 25 tonne, 3.5 metre high naturally eroded granite boulder the sculpture is inscribed over its entire surface with marks carved in low relief representing writing systems from the earliest cuneiform script (active 5,000 years ago in ancient Mesopotamia) to those still in use today. The texts themselves are creation stories from various cultures, each conveyed in their own writing systems.

The One and The Many powerfully expresses Peter’s passion for the way in which we imbue the world with human meaning through our creativity and imagination and the mark making which has been fundamental to the way we communicate our thoughts and ideas from our ancestors to the present day.

A scholar from Exeter University checked the classical Arabic, lines from Ibn al-Nafis’ Theologus Autodidactus.
Carving of the Braille text in progress, lines from ‘The God’s Script’ by Jorge Luis Borges.