Bottle of Notes

Central Gardens, Middlesbrough, England

Background History

  • Commissioned by the Middlesbrough Borough Council in June of 1988. The fundings are from Northern Arts and the grants are from the Arts Council of Great Britain.
  • Claes Oldenburg and his wife, Coosje van Bruggen, created the sculpture.
  • It was installed in September of 1993.
  • 5 years

Artists Statement

  • They felt as though the sculpture would be inappropriate, due to its nautical sense. And the famous explorer, Captain Cook, was born in the area.
  • Coosje thought that she should take an excerpt from Captain Cook's journal describing an astronomer's observation while on the ship.
  • No, they weren't really trying the get the public to look deeper into the thought of the sculpture, they wanted to make a nautical sculpture. They went through a lot of ideas and stuck with the idea of a bottle.
  • No, they didn't come across any problems, the only "problem" they seemed to have was figuring out what the sculpture should look like.

Hannah's Opinion! :D

I really like this sculpture. I think it's absolutely love it and it's really gorgeous. It's also original, you would expect to see a ship sculpture to help represent an explorer and a captain. But, they went with the good, old note in a bottle. I think it's very whimsical, though the only problem is, you can't really read what the words are saying without looking it up (it says, "We had every advantage we could desire in Observing the whole of the passage of the Planet Venus over the Sun's disk.").