Standing In the grounds of St John’s Innovation park, a 21-acre plot which houses several state-of-the-art office buildings designed to house businesses of varying sizes, ‘Hatch’ is comprised of three large steel segments that when brought together create a fully formed 2.5 metre tall steel egg. Placed proudly in front of the Sir Maurice Wilkes building from which it takes its inspiration, these cracked shell-like sculptures are adorned with dissipating markings of binary code, and represent the story of the famed Cambridge-based computer scientist; Maurice Wilkes.
A British, Cambridge-based computer scientist, Sir Maurice Wilkes was credited with several milestone developments in computer technology. The Emeritus Professor of Computer Technology had spent thirty-four years as Head of the Computer Laboratory and was a Fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge, where he had studied Mathematics and Experimental Physics as a student in the 1930s. The building dedicated to Maurice Wilkes signifies the exponential growth of the computer and technology industries in which he played an essential part. Also situated within the park is the Innovation Centre, which is a pioneering organisation that serves to help emerging business develop by providing expert support and the facilities necessary for business growth.
‘Hatch’ is a sculptural art intervention that references the incubation and cultivation of these new businesses within the innovation park, with the cracked-egg form representing the birth of these new ventures into the world, and the spreading of their metaphorical wings. Hand welded from steel and sprayed with a bronze liquid metal paint on the outer – a colour matched to that of the outside of the Maurice Wilkes building – the inside of each structure has been coated with a matte black paint to make the binary code cut-outs appear to glow when looked at from within. The sun moving around the piece throughout the day causes binary patterns in shadow on the surrounding paving.