There’s a giant egg-whisk outside Moorgate tube station, and it’s art – musical art in fact. Created by the British artist Conrad Shawcross RA, it’s called Manifold (Major Third) 5:4 and was installed late last year as the penultimate artwork for the Crossrail project.
According to a sign close to the art, “this vast bronze sculpture is an expression of a chord falling into silence”.
In essence, it’s a musical note at the top, all energetic and bouncing around and as the note fades to silence, the vibrations reduce and shrink, forming the stem.
It’s a bit more interesting than that though — as the “origins of the form were created by using a bespoke pendulum-driven machine based on a Victorian harmonograph, which has been originally developed to analyse the vibrations in buildings when the very first Victorian tube tunnels in London were constructed.”
The sculpture takes its name, Manifold (Major Third) 5:4, from the attempts to realise the note from its beginning until it fades to silence in the ground. While that’s a clever and interesting explanation for the art, I can’t help but think it looks like an elaborate egg whisk.
The Crossrail Art Foundation commissioned nine works of art to decorate the new Elizabeth line stations, and was funded by the City of London and donations at no cost to the Crossrail project. The last to be installed will be Infinite Accumulation, which will sit outside the Liverpool Street station entrance once building works next door are completed.