Blue Bird

Blue Bird VThere is a beautiful flock of blue birds flying up through the stairwell leading to Sheffield’s Graves Art Gallery.

Textile artist (and origami expert) Seiko Kinoshita has created a beautiful sculpture from paper yarn with some other mixed media. The sculpture, called Blue Bird, stretches from the skylight on the top floor to the ceiling level on the ground floor and links the Central Library and the Graves Art Gallery, which share this four storey building in Sheffield.

It is beautiful. Close up, each individual “bird” is simply a twisted piece of fabric made from woven strands of paper yarn, suspended on fine threads so that they bob and spin gently as the air moves. Individually, the “birds” look quite pretty, but viewed en masse they look absolutely stunning.

The first view of the sculpture is from below, standing in the entrance to the library you can look up at the flock of birds which seem to be fluttering up towards the skylight. The piece is big, but looks even bigger thanks to the clever way that the colours change from a dark cobalt/indigo shade of blue at the bottom, through sky blue in the centre, to a very pale turquoise at the top.

Blue Bird I“The top skylight gave me the idea of birds flying. Also the library inspired me to think about The Blue Bird by Maurice Maeterlinck and I imagined blue birds flying up the staircase to the skylight”

Seiko Kinoshita
The view of this sculpture changes dramatically as you climb the stairs: first you look in on the flock of birds, which gradually change colour as you climb higher and higher. From the top floor, at the entrance to the gallery, the flock of birds stretches dramatically down to the foyer below.

Seiko was commissioned to make this piece, her largest to date, for this space by the Sheffield Galleries and Museum Trust.

While I was there, people of all ages stopped to look at the sculpture on their way into the libraries or the Graves Art Gallery. Younger children in particular were absolutely entranced by it. It certainly encourages people to come in to the gallery and admire the view.

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