Parnall Aircraft Company

The St Ives Sculpture

The Supermarine Spitfire BL709 will be accompanied by a commissioned sculptured art by an emerging young Cornish Sculpture – Eleanor Steele. A copy of which will be presented together with a plaque and a recreated Presentation Spitfire Log Book. Eleanor Steele has created a piece of statuary based on a perceived thematic opportunity in our background in the historical manufacture, and now reconstruction, of fighter planes used in World War II.

the sculpture

Inspired by a Community

The sculpture takes its inspiration from the curves of aeronautical architecture, as well as the sweeping kinetics of the dramatic Cornish landscape, animated by the spray of the ocean, the birds which circle its many bays and the forces which bring it to life.

The piece, entitled "" has calm, soothing qualities and symbolises the soft, geometric forms created when a drop hits the water. Eleanor comments "Circles were a shape I visualised when reading the past newspapers, credits and letter from the communities that were involved in fundraising the spitfires, representing unity and support."

the sculpture

The Medium of Flight

With metalworking facilities on site, we have the resources available to produce several versions of the work which we hope will be distributed to various locations, in which the iconic but yet-to-be-decided silhouette will join up all those organisations, spaces and individuals who wish to fly the flag of the fusion of technology and art in Cornwall.

the sculpture

Art and St Ives

Its aesthetic direction stems from the kinetic art of the St Ives School, but in particular that of constructivist Naum Gabo, whose interest in the sublimity of aeronautics seems to trace a path through industrial machinery back to the dramatic Cornish landscape. Residing in the fishing-town for the duration of the war, Gabo created some of his best-loved pieces during this period. So concerned with movement, Gabo’s art seemed to express in material form the performance artist’s Vito Acconci’s later sentiment that art today is no longer a noun, but a verb: less a discrete object than a journey through force from one point to another.