Corpus recalls the stone circles erected by our ancestors and appear as a series of scattered bones. The forms draw on the structure of spinal vertebrae – a sophisticated design solution we share with many other species – epitomising inner strength, persistence and determination. People are encouraged to interact with these stones, discovering that each has been shaped around the human profile. They invite the user to sit, recline, lie or lean on their cool stony surface. Their evolving shape from recumbent though to standing, allows the body to sense a range of physical and perceptual experiences and perhaps an opportunity to recalibrate.
The work is located on the grounds of a new biomedical research centre focusing on health at a cellular level in stem and blood cells. Neighbouring buildings focus on research for cancer and diabetic treatments, others are global players in the pharmaceutical industries. Not far from here one of the largest medieval burial grounds in Britain was discovered, dating back to the 14th century and the Hospital of St John the Evangelist. The concentrated thinking around what makes our bodies both vulnerable and successful is palpable on this site; amplified in the names of streets and buildings, enacting a roll call of medical pioneers and their enabling patrons. This scientific work on this site will continue to develop in directions we cannot presently conceive, changing what we feel about our ancient anatomy and physiology.
Commissioned by the University of Cambridge for the grounds of the Jeffrey Cheah Biomedical Centre With thanks to Blyth & Blyth, Plean Precast, Millhill Studio, Adam Millar & Sons and Commission Projects