Polished white marble block shaped like a pebble.
This work was commissioned as a focal point in a new open space, Barbirolli Square, at the front of the Bridgewater Hall, a new concert hall that replaced the Free Trade Hall, the long-time home of the Halle Orchestra. The need for a significant public sculpture was identified at an early stage in the project, and when, in 1995, the commissioning process began, the concert hall was still under construction and the intended site, an open space in front of the hall, was easier to identify on the architect's plans than on the actual ground. A special committee, part of the Bridgewater Hall Trust, was responsible for commissioning art both inside and outside the building. It considered various forms of sculpture to stand in this important space before narrowing down the choice to two sculptors: Kan Yasuda and Anish Kapoor. Yasuda, whose work had been recently displayed at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, was selected. Yasuda visited the site, a visit that helped to determine his decision to create a rounded and organic work in Carrara marble, a large sculpture that would be placed directly on the ground. The 18-tonne polished monolith was created in Yasuda's workshop in Pietrasanta, Italy; its form, colour and surface resonating the influence of Japanese sculpture on his work. It was installed by Yasuda in August 1996, and was thus in position when the hall was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth in December. Positioning such an obviously tactile work at ground level required thought to be given to vandalism, a problem that Yasuda responded to by coating the stone with a special anti- graffiti solution. The sculpture cost some £200,000 and was financed by money from the Arts Council Lottery Fund, Manchester Airport and Manchester City Council. Yasuda translated "Ishinki" as meaning a 'form returning to its heart.' This simple but powerful form has been described as 'an object for intense contemplation - a moment of meditative silence in the heart of the city.'
Plaque on wall at top of stairs next to canal basin: "ISHINKI-TOUCHSTONE"/Kan Yasuda 1996/This work of art was sponsored by/Manchester Airport and the Arts Council Lottery Fund
PMSA recording information