Globe is an art installation by the sculptor Richard Wentworth on a wall in West Ferry Road in London’s Docklands. The work consists of 15 clocks showing the time in countries around the world. The work is symbolic to the business district as the tower of Canary Wharf can be seen behind the time clock for London
Richard Wentworth has played a leading role in New British Sculpture since the end of the 1970s. His work uses everyday and industrial objects in unusual ways and juxtapositions .He has altered the traditional definition of sculpture as well as photography. By transforming and manipulating industrial and/or found objects into works of art, Wentworth makes us examine common objects in a different way. The sculptural arrangements play with the notion of ready-made and the juxtaposition of objects that bear no relation to each other. Whereas in his photography, as in the ongoing series Making Do and Getting By, Wentworth documents the everyday, paying attention to objects in odd situations that often go unnoticed.
Wentworth was born in Samoa, then a province of New Zealand, in 1947. The son of an executive at English Electric, he grew up in Hampstead and the Hertfordshire stockbroker belt, until the age of 13 when he was sent to Eton, where Conservative MPs Nicholas Soames and Jonathan Aitken and choreographer Richard Alston were among his contemporaries. And While Wentworth felt “incredibly uncomfortable” there, Eton gave him a feel for social structures, webs and connections and “an interest in how things fit”
The school art room was a place where you could “act and talk differently”, and on the advice of his teachers, but against the wishes of his “Edwardian” parents, Wentworth went to art school, first Hornsey and then the Royal College of Art. While he thrived socially, meeting “all sorts of interesting grown-ups”, he felt out of place in the Royal College sculpture department, which revolved around the bronze foundry in an essentially 19th-century fashion. He eventually found common ground with a group of other young sculptors, including Tony Cragg, Richard Deacon and Bill Woodrow, whose irreverent taste for uncomfortable surfaces and trashy materials was seen as a reaction against the austere, “po-faced” minimalism that dominated Seventies art. They were branded the New British Sculpture, and attracted slightly younger talents such as Anthony Gormley and Anish Kapoor.
He served as a teenage assistant to Henry Moore in the Sixties and built sets for Roxy Music in the Seventies.
Between 1971 and 1987, Wentworth taught at Goldsmith’s College and his influence has been claimed in the work of the Young British Artists. Wentworth nurtured such talents as Damien Hirst, Sarah Lucas and Sam Taylor-Wood. From 2002 to 2010, Wentworth was ‘Master of Drawing’ at the Ruskin school of Drawing and Fine Art at Oxford University and was the head of the Sculpture department at The Royal College of Art, London from 2009 – 2011.
Richard Wentworth has lived in the Kings Cross area since the 1970s.In 2002 in conjunction with the group Artangel, he occupied a plumber’s shop at 66 York Way to stage ‘An Area of Outstanding Unnatural Beauty’ Wentworth offered tentative ways of exploring the place. There were ping-pong tables printed with fragments of the A-Z street map, video monitors showing The Ladykillers, and maps from different eras recognisable yet alien configurations of the city as well as periscopes to look at the view from the roof.
More recently his sculpture ‘False Ceiling’ a work with books suspended on rods from the roof was installed in Leadenhall Market as part of the City of London Sculpture trail in 2017.
Guardian 19/09/2002 review by Jonathan Jones