Homage to Delius is in the form of two giant winter leaves, half decaying and skeletal and half still alive shown by coloured glass giving an overall effect of transparency. The work expresses Delius’ love of nature and recurrent interest in the themes of life, death and regeneration expressed through his music.
Frederick Delius was born in Claremont, Bradford in 1862. Despite his German ancestry and spending much of his career and mature life in France, Delius’ music is perhaps most appreciated in Britain due to a typicallyEnglish stylistic appeal. Inspired by authors and poets, his music reflects his commitment to nature. A stunning portrait of Delius by the Leeds artist Jacob Kramer can be seen at Cartwright Hall Art Gallery.
Just as Delius’ music evokes the emotional response of the listener, so Amber Hiscott’s Homage to Delius encourages the participation of the viewer, not just to look, but to walk through the 20 foot long tunnel created by the meeting of the two leaves. Constructed from steel and coloured glass, the sculpture cost £36,000.
Amber Hiscott, a Swansea artist, won the Bradford commission through a National Competition which asked sculptors to create a focal point for the new public Exchange Square. This work, however, was not without the controversy which surrounds so much contemporary art which involves a conceptual idea rather than a physical representation. One critic likened the leaves to a Colorado Beetle!