U-too by Michael Shaw

U-too by Michael Shaw.

Loughborough artist creates striking giant inflatable sculpture that ‘breathes’

Much like a cuttlefish responding to its background, U-too, the latest sculpture by Loughborough University’s Michael Shaw, changes the closer visitors get to it, reflecting their outline and clothing colours.

Made from ripstop nylon treated with a metallic coating, the 23m-long and 4m-high piece ‘breathes’ thanks to a pulsing on/off fan, making every visitor’s experience of the work unique.

U-too is bespoke to the galleries at The Hub, Sleaford, and on show from tomorrow (Saturday 25 September) until January 16 2022.

The sculpture’s twists and turns are guided by the building’s architecture and, by rising up off the ground in places and expanding to create walls of fabric that cannot be looked over, it encourages visitors to view the space differently.

U-too by Michael Shaw

“The sculpture is so large and comes sufficiently close to parts of the building's architecture that it cannot be viewed from a single point”, Michael explained.

“Rather, it is a sculpture that must be experienced over time and one that reveals its nuances as viewers move around its labyrinthine geometry.”

He continued: “Hopefully it is a sculpture that has some universal appeal to everyone, as it requires no previous knowledge to enjoy. It has no socio-political message but is a joyful exploration of form in space delivered by air pressure and reflections.”

U-too forms the centrepiece of Michael’s exhibition, titled ACTIVATE/PARTICIPATE.

For more information on Michael’s work, his creative process, and inspirations, read the interview he did with VOLUME, Loughborough University’s online magazine, here.

More information can also be found on his website https://michaelshaw.art and Instagram https://www.instagram.com/michaelshaw.art/.

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 21/204

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2021 QS World University Rankings and University of the Year for Sport by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2022.

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2022, and 10th in both the Guardian University League Table 2022 and the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.