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Artist / Maker : Rammell, George
Title : Catastrophe
Date (Execution) : 1976
Geographical Origin :
Cultural Group :
Style / Period : Contemporary 1950 -
Medium / Material  : sculpture: marble; stand: unknown stone; metal; wood; paint
Support / Technique : carved; molded; assembled; painted
Object Type : carvings (visual works)
Visual Description : This grey marble sculpture depicts two figures joined at their backs, shoulders, head, buttocks, and feet. A woman is lying on top of a man. The woman is lying on her back with her knees bent and her feet crossed. Her left arm is bent upwards and her right arm is bent with her fingers touching her right shoulder. Her head is tilted backwards and is joined to the side of the man's head. The male figure is in a similar postion. Both of their mouths are slightly open and their eyes are carved curves in the stone.
Accession # : U001.11.137
Width (cm) : 94.50
Height (cm) : 83.00
Depth (cm) : 66.00
Mandatory Credit : Gift of the Estate of Michael C. Williams
Artist Statement : Catastrophe Cararra Marble 1976 Completed in 1976, Catastrophe was Rammell's first large sculptural project following his graduation from art school. This work was influenced by diverse and competing genres of art instruction in the 1970's; a decade of dramatic change at the Vancouver School of Art (ECUAD). Rammell's senior instructors were trained in European post-war Humanist traditions, but this faculty was challenged by a younger group of minimal and conceptual instructors with new curricula. Rammell responded to the tension and opposing ideologies between these schools with this realist-conceptual fusion piece. Its inversion appears to embody a plane; the marble and its complex human form feel as weightless as the reflection it represents. Through this work Rammell conveys a psychological birth through a mitosis, that he employed as a metaphor for birthing, emerging individuation and definition of the self during early adulthood. He was also influenced by the Greek myth of the Catastorism, the Catastrophe Theory of modern physics and its geometric implications of compound triangles and the hexagon. Catastrophe was central to Rammell's first solo exhibition at the Burnaby Art Gallery in 1976. He carved this work in a 4-ton block of Cararra marble over a 14 month period. Catastrophe is in the William's Contemporary Art Collection of the University of Victoria. http://www3.telus.net/4/rammell/first.html