Nude muse of good relations

February 17, 2006

Dundee University's image may be about to change forever after proposals for a sculpture of a "provocative" m-high nude woman that would straddle the lane between the art school and life sciences.

Leading contemporary artist and sculptor David Mach was last year appointed Dundee's visiting professor of inspiration and discovery, with the remit of encouraging artists and scientists to find out more about one another's work.

He wants to present unmistakable proof that links between the fields exist through Bio Colossus , which will stand beside the life sciences building and lean on the roof of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art. She would be made up of thousands of small pieces of steel, offering hundreds of different images as people walked round her.

Professor Mach, a Duncan of Jordanstone graduate, will gauge public reaction by displaying a model of the statute in the Dundee Contemporary Arts Centre next month.

The university hopes that it could be unveiled next year, when Dundee celebrates its 40th anniversary as an independent institution.

Geoff Ward, Dundee's deputy principal, described the sculpture as an Angel of the North for the city, a massive symbol of Dundee as a hub for new ideas. "David Mach is a leading sculptor who uses comedy and wit and popular materials with terrific conceptual athleticism," he said.

It would also be an emphatic statement of the university's commitment to both the arts and science, Professor Ward said. "The idea of a Bio Colossus - a combination of 21st-century monumental art and life sciences, nonchalantly straddling both on the campus - is going to cause controversy.

But then new science and new art always have taken risks and been provocative."

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