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The Axis of the World

Claudio Parmiggiani
Houghton Hall, Norfolk, UK

Simon Lee Gallery is proud to announce The Axis of the World, a permanent installation at Houghton Hall by Italian artist Claudio Parmiggiani. 

The Axis of the World is a column made from Ombra di Caravaggio marble, anchored in the garden of the 18th century Palladian house. This seemingly infinite pillar penetrates the Earth, piercing its core, while simultaneously climbing over 16 metres in height to touch the sky, caressing the sun and the clouds during the day and embracing the moon and the stars at night. It represents an eternal column that connects the World and the Cosmos, Earth and Heaven; in the artist’s words, ‘A twisting tower, a work that raises high, that aspires to great heights, spinning around itself in its ascent without end’.

In his continuous search for an image that transcends time and individual experience to evoke a universal truth, Parmiggiani alighted on The Axis of the World, a sculpture in a material and form both pure and absolute. Rising from the depths of the ground in complete harmony with its surroundings, the sculpture is disguised amongst the trees, as if it had been there since Houghton Hall was erected. Silent, yet bestowed with an unequivocal power, the sculpture stands as an emblem of human presence and of eternity.