Objects | Art/Craft/Design


Bottle of Notes, 1993

mima, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, Tees Valley

Fine Art and Sculpture

1946 To Today

In 1993, Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen were invited to realise their first UK public sculpture in the North East. Middlesbrough was settled upon as the location, with the artists drawing inspiration from the history of exploration in the area through the voyages of Captain Cook.

The resulting sculpture, imagined a message in a bottle, washed upon a distant shore. The two skins of the structure represent alternatively a page of notes from one of Captain Cook’s journals and a poem written by van Bruggen specifically for the work.

This sculpture has now become part of the lives of a generation who have grown up in Middlesbrough, and for whom the work has always been there.

The North East has become renowned for combining world class culture with regeneration, within which large scale public sculpture is an important aspect.

By Claes Oldenburg (born 1929) and Coosje van Bruggen (1942 - 2009)

On display at centre square, outside mima, Middlesbrough

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