New sculpture by internationally renowned artist installed at University of Hertfordshire

22 April 2021

UH Arts is delighted to announce that the University of Hertfordshire Art Collection has acquired its 14th outdoor sculpture – a striking, light-reflecting, pyramidal form called Diabolo. The sculpture is the second in the Collection by internationally renowned sculptor and UH alumna Diane Maclean. It has been installed in time for International Sculpture Day on 24 April and can be seen on the University’s de Havilland campus.

Made in 2018 from coloured stainless steel, Diabolo is based on the form of the ancient Chinese spinning toy. The sculpture follows a series of pyramidal forms artist Diane Maclean has developed over the years for sculptures in the landscape.

The colour of the material is created by daylight entering a clear oxide on the surface of the curved and polished stainless steel at varying angles. The colour changes through red, purple, blue and gold with the light of day and as perceived from different angles. This kind of scientific element is typical of Maclean’s practice.

Commenting on the installation Maclean said, “I am delighted to have donated my sculpture Diabolo to the University of Hertfordshire – representing my enduring relationship with the University. It is a playful work; the colour being created purely by natural light and its geometry reacting with the surrounding landscape and trees.”

An alumna of the University of Hertfordshire, Diane Maclean is an established sculptor who has exhibited widely across the UK and Europe. Diabolo, fabricated by Birch Engineering Ltd, has been exhibited at Doddington Hall in 2018, and in 2019 at Abbey of Beaulieu in Hampshire and Marks Hall, Essex, after which it was donated to the UH Art Collection in 2020. It is the second sculpture by Maclean in the Collection.

The University of Hertfordshire Art Collection features over 500 artworks displayed across its campuses. Open to campus audiences and the public (when Covid-19 restrictions allow), a dedicated Sculpture Walk introduces the 14 outdoor sculptures in the Collection, presenting an eclectic group of works which map the changing characteristics of British Sculpture since the 1950s. A narrated digital sculpture tour is available at alongside digital galleries showcasing the extensive University Art Collection.


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