Natalie Guy The Pool, 2018–19
Glass reinforced concrete, galvanised steel, plywood, powder coated aluminium, PVC tubing, 800 x 2200 x 2600 mm.
The Pool was designed specifically for Sculpture on the Gulf 2019. It is part of a wider investigation into disrupting the historical narrative using modernist objects and, more recently, late modernist architectural forms. The Pool was spurred by a visit to the modernist city of Chandigarh, India, in 2017. While researching and traversing the city I became interested in the work of Jane Drew (1911 –1996) an English architect and urban planner. Her role in the design of Chandigarh, particularly the social housing and smaller scale public buildings, seems overlooked, or at least overshadowed by the large civic buildings of Le Corbusier. Her domestic-scale modernism was refreshing, an example being a public swimming pool with diving board in Sector 23.
The pool and board in turn reminded me of David Hockney’s famous and rather more utopian Californian modernist-cool pool paintings. The diving board removed from its poolside and now marooned on a headland has become a surreal object. Inaccessible without stairs, with a closed loop hand-rail – it is functionless. The brutality of bare concrete is now met with the bright and breezy colouring of Hockney in an international melding of late modernist tropes.