Based Upon returns to Masterpiece: An exhibition of pioneering new sculpture.

This year Based Upon celebrates a decade working at the fore of British creative enterprise. On the 24th June, exclusively at Masterpiece London, the creative studio will present a new body of work.

The culmination of a 10 year journey, the collection distills a creative pursuit which has seen Based Upon produce landmark pieces for heritage names such as Tiffany & Co. They have created high profile public sculptures for HSBC. Their work sells at Christies and is found in credible and informed collections internationally.

Unique practitioners in the art of story-telling through bespoke design and exceptional craftsmanship, these 2015 works give voice to the stories of Based Upon itself.

Based Upon’s work frequently examines notions of entirety and fragmentation. Now, drawing on a decade of pioneering technical and conceptual exploration, Based Upon’s new body of work takes the observer on a journey from oneness through division and back.

‘The Birth of Tramazite’ (2015) initiates the contemplation of a physical reality beyond our earliest imagining. ‘The Blue Fragmented Crack’ (2015) captures an elemental separation. ‘The Lost Fragment’ (2015), speaks to loss and restoration. ‘In the cathedral of your spirit I am happy queuing for wine’ (2015) closes a cycle, speaking to a new completeness:

‘With this series, we are exploring the surge from primordial unity, through the fissions of creation, with its inherent loss - back to a restored wholeness, free from the fractures of perception, where the sublime is touched and the spiritual realised.’ - Ian Abell, Based Upon: Creative Director.

In 2013, Based Upon debuted ‘The Baby’, a remarkable 4 meter piano based on the naturally occurring Golden Spiral. June 2015 will see Based Upon return to Masterpiece London for the third time to present a collection which is timely and retrospective; tangibly human and yet distinctly organic.

A point of convergence for the international art and design worlds, Masterpiece London is the perfect platform for Based Upon to mark 10 years of pioneering work and introduce the latest chapter in an intriguing evolution.

Birth of Tramazite (2015)

As indefinable as it is instinctively familiar. The Birth of Tramazite was handcrafted in reverential emulation of the chiasmic, oscillating aesthetic of our known world.

Contemplating a physical reality beyond our earliest imagining, the circular work conjures a state of primordial oneness.

Emanating from one central point, there is a quietly volatile energy to the work which places the eye of the viewer at the very heart of our expanding universe.

Blue Fragmented Crack (2015)

Like much of Based Upon’s work, the Fragmented Crack has been created at the intersection of art and design. The piece speaks to the original crack, as tectonic plates broke, collided and re-formed to create new continents – birthing the diversity in life, lands and cultures of today. Each element of the piece is individually cast in bronze, and designed to fit perfectly with the others. When brought together, the sculpture is one complete form; disparate parts are reunited and reconciled; their different functions are unified.

Born of a process in which casts were made from cracked clay houses at the source of the White Nile, the piece was then developed in our London studio. At once precious and raw, the Fragmented Crack embodies the Based Upon vision of creative engagement with narrative and nature in art and fabrication.

The Lost Fragment (2015)

A fragment of rock, found on the moorlands of Northumberland, shattered, abraded and worn smooth by nature. An abstract form, shaped over millions of years, re-appropriated and transformed by Based Upon into a beguiling meditation on loss and restoration.

A work of two halves, the piece imagines the found rock as part of what was once a whole. Based Upon painstakingly anoint every crevice and fissure in the rock’s severed surface with precisely crafted bronze. When the halves are brought together, the rough stone edge is concealed, and a smooth oneness of form is achieved. There is a sense that the rock’s ‘lost fragment’ has been restored.

This 2015 work responds to our impossible desire to recover that which no longer remains. The piece references the eternal dichotomy of man’s harmonious cooperation and militant struggle with the relentless continuum of nature.

‘In the cathedral of your spirit I am happy queuing for wine’ (2015)

Taking bronze and making it dance, taking a crown of thorns and twisting it back in on itself, this 2015 möbius sculpture speaks to themes of veneration, transcendence and humility in the face of the sublime - both personal and infinite.

Cast, using the ancient lost wax process, in solid bronze, the sculpture is 30cm in diameter, and weighs approximately 2.5kg. From the heavy mass of bronze, this piece is formed of interwoven handwritten letters which balance with light, delicate fluidity; almost a filigree. The piece quietly, discretely references, in its proportion and barbed geometry, the holy crown of thorns. Its form and lyrical expression conduce a visceral sensuality, alluding to love, suffering, sacrifice and the deep humility and joy of human being in the presence of the ineffable and divine.

Based Upon, here, preserve and reinvent a potent icon of Western history. Alluding to laurel wreaths of victory and the infinite circle of devotion, the sculpture is single-sided and ceaseless. After a lifetime of looking outward to an apparently fractured world, the work speaks to the discovery of wholeness within.

Commission a Masterpiece

‘Based Upon’s work recognises that the ultimate luxury is to create, for our client, an object which is entirely their own; which they have had a part in creating; which tells their personal story and which grows to bear a story of its own.’ Ian Abell, Based Upon: Creative Director.

As a chapter of their 2015 Masterpiece London exhibition, Based Upon will present a study of past and future commissioned works. This exposes the oblique strategy and evolving dialogues involved in creating unique legacy pieces for their clients. As a central piece the studio present, through documentary film, literature, developmental work and maquettes, ‘A Grain of Rice’: This, Based Upon’s first monumental work of public sculpture, was commissioned to mark the 150th anniversary of HSBC. A stately, permanent and beautiful gesture for a global institution.

The piece defines the duality of Based Upon. It resonates with the intuitive expression of art. It is realised with the diligent discipline of design.

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