'Heap 4' consists of a number of long, thin, sand-filled hessian sacks placed casually on the floor. It is one of a series of heaps, piles and stacks, which Barry Flanagan made in the late 1960s to investigate essential sculptural forms and actions. The artist wanted to move away from labour-intensive materials and processes towards a more informal and open approach to sculpture. 'Heap 4' proposes the radical idea that sculpture need not occupy one set position; the specks of sand combine with the accommodating properties of the sacks to create a work in infinite flux.
'Heap 4'was made just a year after Barry Flanagan's graduation from St Martin's School of Art, London (1964-66), where he was taught by the sculptors Anthony Caro and Philip King among others. Teaching at St Martin's focussed on debate, with the students invited to question what sculpture was and to forge new possibilities: 'Heap 4' reveals Flanagan's central position within these discussions.
- Artwork Details: 15 parts, total, 60 x 131 x 100cm
- Material description: canvas and sand
- Credit line: © The Estate of Barry Flanagan, courtesy of Plubronze Ltd.
- Accession number: AC 1062