Paul Mount - Skysails

Paul Mount




Stainless Steel


Location: Outside Wall of the Queen’s Building, facing the Queen’s Drive, Streatham Campus

This work was originally commissioned for a building in Bristol in 1974 and obtained by the University through a benefaction from Dr A John Nunn.

In the same way that a ship's sails catch the winds, Skysails picks up light, re-presenting it with curved and polished stainless steel surfaces. Whether the day is clouded or bright, Skysails asserts its compelling presence.  In the evening light, the pink brick wall is reflected on the sails and, seen from immediately below the sculpture acquires a spiky effect, almost reminiscent of a ‘Tall Ship’ in full sail, or cacti in the desert, perhaps.

Born in Newton Abbot, the artist studied art at Paignton School of Art and later at the Royal College of Art in London. He was initially a teacher at Winchester School of Art and later in 1955 in Lagos, Nigeria, where he established an art department at Yaba Technical College.

He also developed as a sculptor whilst in Nigeria and in the1960’s he moved to St Just in Cornwall where he worked as a sculptor until his death in 2009. Sources of inspiration for his works included music and architecture.

Photograph: John Melville © University of Exeter

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