Herakles at the tree of the Hesperides, bronze, Roman, 1 century AD
This ancient bronze on loan from the British Museum will be on display in the foyer, in celebration of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Dating from the 1st century AD, this important statue was excavated at a temple in Byblos, Lebanon and depicts Herakles (Hercules), legendary founder of the Olympic Games and a patron god of the gymnasium - the training ground for atheletes in ancient Greece.
The Herakles figure will act as the centrepiece for our Olympics season this spring and summer. The impressive physical presence of this object from the anicent world will create a surprising juxtaposition to the Pavilion's modernist architecture.
The loan is a result of a meeting organised by Turning Point South East and the British Museum at Margate's Turner Contemporary last year, which brought together people working within contemporary art galleries in the South East.
The dialogue with the British Museum and in particular the Senior Curator of Greece and Rome, Ian Jenkins, identified Herakles at the tree of the Hesperides, as a major piece for loan during this year's olympic season.
DLWP curator David Rhodes says in The Guardian:
"I dreamed of bringing a piece of classical sculpture into this very modern space which is known for contemporary art," the curator, David Rhodes, said, "but my wish-list to the British Museum was mostly big lumps of stone. The Herakles is really wonderful – he is so beautiful and sexy, but he is not a golden youth but a real athlete who has had a hard life, with his broken nose and lumpy forehead."
Herakles will act as a fascinating tool through which audiences can be introduced to the history of the Olympic Games and will mark a dynamic new departure in the De La Warr Pavilion's programming.
Ian Jenkins, Senior Curator in the Department of Greek & Rome at the British Museum will be talking about Ancient Greece and its sculptures of the body. Find out more here.
Generously supported by the British Museum.