Bottle of Notes

Central Gardens, Middlesbrough, England

Background history

This sculpture was commissioned in June 1988 by the Middlesbrough Borough Council and was funded by Northern Arts. It also recieved grants from the Art Council of Great Britain and other various sources. The artist who created this sculpture was Claes Oldenburg, with help from his wife Coosje Van Bruggen. It was installed in September 1993. The process of creating this sculpture took about five years.

Artists Statement

Oldenburg and Bruggen were inspired to create this sculpture when they visited Northeastern England for the first time. Middlesbrough, England had once been a thriving center for steel industry, but its kilns had been shut down. Oldenburg and Bruggen were asked to build a sculpture for Middlesbrough, because it would bring jobs to those who were currently unemployed.

The artists felt that a nautical theme would be appropriate for the sculpture, because the famous explorer Captain Cook was born in that area. They wanted to make an object that would be both functional on land and on water, and they thought of a bottle. They decided to make the bottle out of steel, because it would reflect the town's history. The text of the sculpture was selected from one of Captain Cook's journals. The main reason that the artists created this sculpture, was to benefit others.

My Opinion

I think that sculpture is a very interesting piece. It is very beautiful and it fits in very nicely with its surroundings. The main reason that I like this piece so much, is because it has so much meaning. It was created to help other people and to make the city a better place to live. This is definitely one of my favorite pieces of art that i have seen.