This was a new sculpture specially created for Threshold Festival 2017 taking the form of a full-scale reproduction of the cross-section of the Agpalilik meteorite in the Danish Geological Museum, Copenhagen.

The story of how the meteorite was identified, recovered and transported to Denmark in the 1960s is remarkable enough. This, and the object itself – as old as the Sun – with an inner beauty of an acheiropoieton was the inspiration for this major work.

Agpalilik (2017), a sculpture in Liverpool's Baltic Triangle district for Threshold Festival 7 by artist John Elcock

Agpalilik was on display on the exterior of the Pilgrims Progress building, Bridgewater Street in Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle district from 31st March to 2nd April 2017.

The installation was in two parts, a 21kg machined timber structure that faithfully reproduced one of Agpalilik’s cross sections currently on display in Copenhagen. The piece was carefully prepared, painted and hand-gilded, and was suspended from the hoist of an archetypal Liverpool warehouse. In this way it was hoped that a shared legacy of two great European ports may be celebrated, as well as explore their respective ideas of commodity.

Secondly a remote digital interface at street level enabled visitors to peer inside the meteorite’s iron core and see the micro-crystalline structure of Agpalilik, revealed in its delicately etched and polished Widmanstätten pattern. I interpreted this pattern within the layers of artists’ acrylic that make up the final surface finish of Agpalilik.

Agpalilik has been dismounted and the aim is for it to be permanently exhibited in Liverpool in an accessible venue.

 

Review

‘The installation will be an unmissable addition to the festival, and is a great way for Threshold to prove that they can just keep getting bigger.’
Read the full interview with Patrick Kirk-Smith on Art In Liverpool

 

Acknowledgements

Produced with the kind assistance of Pilgrim’s Progress Antiques. Fabrication by SJS Liverpool.

 

Locations

1963 76°09′N 65°10′W

A 20 ton fragment of the Cape York meteorite fall is discovered by Dr. Vagn Buchwald on the remote Agpalilik peninsula of NW Greenland. It is recovered and transported to Denmark.

1970 55°41′N 12°34′E

Sections of the meteorite were laboriously prepared at the Danish Geological Museum, Copenhagen. A single 5cm section weighed 560 kg and took two weeks to cut using a wire saw.

2017 53°23′N 2°58′W

A recreation of the section of Agpalilik is created as a public art installation in Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle district. The main form is a timber ply structure weighing a mere 21kg.

 

Further Reading

Danish Geological Museum

Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland Agpalilik recovery (Danish language, YouTube: 47’20”)

 

Gallery