On the occasion of her Mark Tanner Sculpture Award exhibition at Standpoint Gallery, Frances Richardson, the 2017-18 winner, selects Still Water for 3rd Dimension’s ‘Masterpiece in a Nutshell’ series. Richardson’s new body of work for her exhibition ‘Not even nothing can be free of ghosts’ at Standpoint Gallery has been developed over the period of a year. Her interest in giving shape to ideas of nothingness is a continuing theme in her practice, as she works directly with materials to present ‘a thought that encompasses both a memory of the real and a projection of the imagined’.

Frances Richardson: My chosen masterpiece is Alison Wilding RA and Adam Kershaw’s memorial Still Water, 2017, in a glade of young birch trees at the National Memorial Arboretum, Staffordshire. I have selected this work as my masterpiece because it is not a memorial that stands and proclaims, but one that in its carefully considered setting, provides a place of stillness to reflect upon the fragility and brutality of our time.

Three elements – water, land and air – come together in this masterpiece. A protective wall cups and provides seating to view the group of low level white lozenge forms placed on a smooth grey oval base, incised with curved brass lines and set just below the ground level, as if they have at any moment the potential to glide and slide in and out of formation.

The design was developed following a public consultation which gathered views from the families of victims of terrorism overseas. The simple but powerful message of its inscription resonates for all, ‘This memorial is for everyone who has been affected by terrorism overseas’.

Main image: Alison Wilding and Adam Kershaw, Still Water, 2017, National Memorial Arboretum, Lichfield, Staffordshire (photo: © Angus Mill, courtesy of Adam Kershaw)