'Red in the Centre', 1981/2 , Anish Kapoor

Bonded earth, polystyrene, oil glaze and pigment


Bombay-born Kapoor came to Britain in his teens. This piece was made during his Residency at the Walker in 1981-82 when he was just about to establish an international reputation. At that that time he was concerned with establishing a distinct, intimate and poetic voice drawing upon his heritage, especially Hindu myths, art and architecture. He is now familiar for his grand, public sculptures.

This piece is made from earth and dry pigment, sprinkled on afresh, ritualistically, each time it is displayed. The tongue-like wall piece evokes images of the goddess Kali, revered as both creator and destroyer. The colour red represents the male and what Kapoor describes as ‘the generative’; it is placed literally as well as conceptually at the work’s centre.