Evolutionary Loop 517 arrives at university campus

The University of Aberdeen this week welcomed a new landmark to its campus, which has been named by a member of the university community in order to reflect its surroundings.

The six metre bronze sculpture was created by artist Nasser Azam and gifted to the university by Dr John Sievwright.

Despite having the working title Eclectic Grace, a new name for the piece was sought in order to be more reflective of the University of Aberdeen.

Staff and students were given the task of coming up with a suitable name for the sculpture, which was commissioned when the Sir Duncan Rice Library was being built, and as such represents the design of the building.

The judging committee finally selected its winner and on Monday (February 11), ‘Evolutionary Loop 517’ was installed in front of the library.

The winning entry came from Professor Marcel Jaspars, who explained where the inspiration for his name choice came from.

He commented: “I chose the name Evolutionary Loop 517 to reflect the fact that students, academics and staff are constantly evolving in their experiences and connections at the University of Aberdeen, to show the organic nature of the sculpture in symbiosis with the research carried out at the university and to represent the age of the University when this sculpture was made. In a diverse way, we will all have a connection with the University of Aberdeen just by looking at the sculpture. In future years, maybe people will simply say ’Let's meet at the Loop’.

 “I came up with the name as I felt this is a very organic piece, and the intertwined forms connect in a loop, which reminded me of the evolutionary process, with continuous change and connection.

“I feel very proud to have named such a monumental piece and am happy in the knowledge that the name I chose will be associated with this piece forever. I spent some time watching the installation of this piece in different light conditions, and found the sculpture awe-inspiring.”

London based artist, Nasser Azam, was inspired by the Sir Duncan Rice Library when working on his masterpiece.

He explained: "The project has been most rewarding as I was involved with the architects from the outset. Evolutionary Loop 517 to me reflects the visually striking interior design of the library and the use of bronze cements a strong connectivity between the historic relevance and traditions of the university, and the bold and beautiful statement of the contemporary library building."

Chris Banks, University Librarian and Director of Library Special Collections and Museums added: “I am thrilled that the sculpture is now taking pride of place in front of the library.

“We are extremely grateful to the donor who commissioned the piece and also to Nasser who has created this stunning piece of art for us.”