You might think that a building adorned with art has little to do with business but, at Aston Business School, this is quite the contrary as the launch of a range of new art installation shows.
ABS aims to develop the leaders of today and tomorrow, who then go on to develop effective organisations, influencing their communities and nations for good. They will need clear values, confidence in their creativity and the courage to be enterprising.
The School therefore believes that by engaging with the arts with the support of Arts in Business it will help to establish some of these values which will inspire those future leaders. The School, with its 200 plus community of researchers must also possess depths of creativity, craft and richness of intellect if we are to advance knowledge of how we can develop effective, responsible organisations, engaged employees and flourishing economies.
The artwork that has been commissioned is intended to challenge whilst conveying excellence of craft, creativity, innovation and depth – the values the School seeks to incorporate in research, learning and teaching, and also business engagement. The pieces are also positive and dynamic, encouraging a sense of optimism, wonder and delight amongst those who come to the Business School community. These works intend to create an environment for staff, students and visitors that is both inspiring and innovative.
The School’s latest commissions are by Ruth Spaak and Eryka Isaak.
The first is the contemporary glass sculpture by Eryka Isaak which is in the outdoor quad area that’s at the heart of the School. This exciting and unique artwork explores the relationship between glass and the natural environment creating a ‘camp fire’ effect that will draw people in to explore further. Inspiration for the artist has come from nature in both form and colour. The work defies the medium it has been created in being a bold, and not fragile, statement.
Ruth’s mixed media sculptural hangings bring the outdoors in, in a dramatic set of pieces which adorn the ground floor corridor next to the conference rooms. The unique, intricate and textured sculptures spill out of the walls and bring you into this space which is now full of colour and movement. Each piece is made from robust kiln-fired glass pieces, ties and other fixings. This piece, consisting of several linked sections, takes its inspiration from the courtyard garden beyond the corridor.
Working with kiln-formed glass and a diverse range of materials including recycled, collected and industrial plastics, metals and other mixed-media, Ruth creates unique and bespoke sculptural space dividers, wall-based pieces and installations. Small components are joined together and layered to create complex constructions using contrasting materials, tactile qualities and shapes for site-specific situations and functions.
At the successful unveiling of the new pieces of art Mike West, Executive Dean for Aston Business School told guests: 'We’re really excited that our environment is being graced by such exciting pieces of art that will really inspire and make a difference to the community as a whole.'
Words by Ruth Green