Wednesday, October 28, 2020

'Monolith' by Arthur Fleischmann

London The Unfinished City
"Its origin and purpose still a total mystery."

Wednesday October 28, 2020.

I have long been an enthusiast of science fiction films and books, with Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey being among my favourites. 

I had heard that the original concept for the 'monolith' called for it to be transparent, which would allow for visual effects to be layered onto it. 

However, when Kubrick saw the finished piece he decided against using it, opting to go with the now famous black basalt 'monolith'. 

London The Unfinished City
'Monolith' plaque.

After a little online searching I found that the original acrylic 'monolith' was on display, in London, so I set about discovering it. I found it, too, affixed to a wall in St Katharine Docks.

The block measures 10'9" (3.27m) by 5'9" (1.75m) and is 8" (20cm) thick, is the largest block of solid acrylic in the world and weighs a staggering two tons!

The Silver Jubilee Crystal Crown was sculpted, on site, by Arthur Fleischmann KCSG, FRBS, MD, who pioneered carving in Perspex.

Her Majesty the Queen unveiled the sculpture on June 5, 1977.

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