6 p.m. Wednesday, July 24
MAINSITE Contemporary Art
122 E. Main, Norman
Free & open to the public
Normanites seeking knowledge within the walls of the new Norman Public Library Central will find inspiration at its doorsteps with a striking, roughly 45-foot sculpture Unbound designed by Paul Cocksedge Studio out of London, England that will greet guests and celebrate Norman’s proud tradition of education and learning.
The sculpture will be installed in late July with a dedication set for 5 p.m. Thursday, July 25 at the Norman Public Library Central, 103 W. Acres, Norman. Paul Cocksedge Studio will lead an artist talk discussing their process and inspiration for the piece the evening prior at 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 24 at MAINSITE Contemporary Art, 122 E. Main, Norman. Both events are free and open to the public.
Unbound is constructed of bright, anodized aluminum, rolled into paper-like sheets elevated by the invisible wind. The art piece makes a visually striking connection between the Oklahoma environment and the Norman Public Library Central, where it will be located.
Paul Cocksedge Studio — founded in 2004 by Paul Cocksedge and Joana Pinho — felt that paper was the perfect subject for this public art project to illustrate that relationship, aiming to inspire the community and the readers and learners crossing into the library’s threshold.
“This piece connects with paper as an invention that changed the course of human history. Our sculpture pays homage to the millions of pieces of paper in the Norman library, but also emphasizes our changing relationship with them,” the studio said of the inspiration for the piece. “The tangibility of turning a page has always been at the heart of learning – however, that’s something that’s evolving as paper is supplemented by screen. That changing relationship makes this piece relevant not just for its obvious connections to the library, but as a milestone that marks the turning point of paper’s role in our lives.”
Paul Cocksedge Studio was selected out of 204 requests for qualification submissions, which were generated from artists and designers from across the globe. Three finalists — one of which came from Norman — were asked to create design proposals, and Paul Cocksedge Studio was chosen by the selection panel composed of stakeholders from the Pioneer Library System, City of Norman, Norman Arts Council and design team behind the Central Branch Library.
Paul Cocksedge Studio is well practiced in this scope of project. Previous clients have included the City of Milan, City of Lyon, London Design Festival, BMW, Sony, Swarovski and more. Examples of the studio’s work can be found at www.paulcocksedgestudio.com.
The piece’s design and manufacturing were coordinated by Flintco, LLC with engineering by Kirkpatrick Forest Curtis PC. Matherly Mechanical completed the fabrication locally and assembled the piece on site with a boom lift using three-dimensional coordinates to carefully place all 201 sheets over a 7-week period.
The selection was approved by the Norman Arts Council Board and the Norman Public Arts Board in April and the Norman City Council approved the contract with Paul Cocksedge Studio on Tuesday, May 8, 2018. The library itself is set to open in late summer to early fall.
This is the third public art project made possible through the Norman Forward 1% for Art Program, led by Public Art Manager Debby Williams. Mark Aeling’s SPLASH was installed at the Westwood Family Aquatic Center, 1017 Fairway Drive, in December 2017. James Johnson’s Prairie Wind was installed at the East Branch Library, 3001 E. Alameda, in June 2018.