Works exhibited: Spiral II, Untitled II, Kudah, and Column V
Kim Lim was a Singaporean-British sculptor educated at St Martin’s School of Art and the Slade School of Art who died in 1997. The process of assembling works for her exhibition at the Roundhouse in spring 1979 ‘made me’, she said, ‘very aware of the pull within myself between the ordered, static experience and the dynamic rhythms of organic structured forms . . . How to incorporate and synthesise these two seemingly opposed elements within one work became . . . the starting point for the . . . stone sculptures.’ Martin Holman has argued that her work ‘unfolded in a cyclical way that thrived on invention and review.’ Lim’s Spiral II is almost a visual diagram of this trajectory, a series of sculptural forms detached from one another but recapitulating and varying each other’s forms, articulating space by implying an extension of their own ordering principles into the intervals of absence between and among the work’s component parts. Their setting in The Orchard at Jesus College, an area where cultivation has an informal style, brings out their aesthetic resolution of the tension between static order and organic growth. The spiral is very open-ended, as much projected as described, insisting on the potential for unlimited development rather than containment and completion.
Lim’s works seem both contemporary and ancient, evoking the reticent forms of the earliest sculptural traditions, in which humanity’s later obsession with rendering the true likeness of the appearance of things is avoided. These sculptures impress us rather with their desire for implication – of the true relations between states of being, both seen and unseen, between the narrow preoccupations of the human and what might extend beyond them.