Jesmond

Rear of station

1978

‘Garden Front’, as suggested by its playful title, offers a number of ways in which the sculpture and its relationship to the surrounding area can be read. 

Raf Fulcher developed the work from the language of seventeenth and eighteenth century garden design.  Removed from an historical context the sculpture is, on one level, an affront to the functional formality of the modern Metro station from where it is most frequently seen. The glazing panels through which it is viewed might even in fact suggest that one is looking at a detail of a classical garden preserved within a museum showcase.

Alternatively ‘Garden Front’, as part of an implied greater whole, might also be taken to suggest that one is looking out on a garden in which, through imagination, the station is transformed into an orangery, a pavilion for leisurely pursuit or a gazebo.

The idea of the sculpture, which is most frequently perceived as being at the ‘back’ of the station, plays with contradictions between structures in imaginative and material worlds, spatial ideas of back and front (or back to front) and notions of the archaic and the modern.

Garden Front was badly damaged by metal thieves in 2012.  Some parts of the sculpture have been lost and other put in storage as Nexus seeks to identify funds to restore this work.