Odds and quads

These striking wire-mesh sculptures of naked, falling figures hanging from the ceiling often attract attention and comment from students and visitors at the University of Sunderland's automotive engineering department.

February 23, 2012

Descent is the work of art and design graduate Michelle Castles and was created in 1998 for her degree show. Although the fundamental concept was inspired by Dante's Inferno, the figures were based more immediately on fellow students.

"I would like to point out that the sculptures are larger than life and exaggerated," she is careful to make clear, "though I still have all the original measurements of those students!"

Ms Castles has since expanded on the hand-manipulated mesh sculptures she created while at Sunderland to forge a career as an artist focusing on the power of the youthful human body. For her, the translucency of the mesh medium possesses "an ethereal beauty" that gives "the illusion of figures transcending the physical and soaring into the spiritual".

Although now based in Cumbria, she will return to the North East for an exhibition at Newcastle's Biscuit Factory celebrating athletes and tying in with the London Olympics.

Send suggestions for this series on the treasures, oddities and curiosities owned by universities across the world to: matthew.reisz@tsleducation.com.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Technical Officer (Paramedic)

Staffordshire University

Professor in Marketing

Henley Business School

Lecturer or Senior Lecturer in Social Work

University Of The West Of Scotland

Research Service Manager

London School Of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (lshtm)
See all jobs

Most Commented

Daniel Mitchell illustration (29 June 2017)

Academics who think they can do the work of professional staff better than professional staff themselves are not showing the kind of respect they expect from others

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

As the pay of BBC on-air talent is revealed, one academic comes clean about his salary

Senior academics at Teesside University put at risk of redundancy as summer break gets under way

University of Oxford

Reinstatement of professor over age discrimination must force rethink over ‘unfair’ retirement rules, say campaigners