…or to use the Italian, Sfera con Sfera.
Art has always played a large role in the Berkeley Library – we’ll explore this in depth in further posts, and for some, the Berkeley itself is a sculpture of sorts. But one of the most recognisable features of the Berkeley – indeed, of Trinity – isn’t an original feature of the Library.
The installation in the 1980s of the plinth and sculpture on the podium marked a triumphant return of sculpture to the area, following the removal of the statues that were in place in 1967-9.
Arnaldo Pomodoro, the renowned Italian artist, turned 90 last year; the first of his spheres was produced in 1963. Other variants of Sfera are on display all over the world, with perhaps the most famous being at the United Nations plaza in New York and the Cortile del Belvedere at the Vatican Museums – the latter being the most similar to our Sfera but twice the size of the Trinity sculpture. Trinity geneticist and art lover George William Percy Dawson persuaded the artist to donate the piece at cost as part of the College’s burgeoning modern art and sculpture collection.
What does it mean? This poem attempts an answer. Others view it as a statement of the New World Order, with the elite (of the UN, Vatican, Israel, Trinners etc etc.) enslaving a shattered world. Your mileage may vary.
And of course, it does spin, if you put your back into it!
Main image: Rebecca O’Neill.