The Richard Serra Sculpture
Standing at the end of the MIA Park pier is a large sculpture. Known as the ‘7’ sculpture, this almost 80-foot high steel artwork was designed by American artist Richard Serra.
It was unveiled in 2011 and is the tallest artwork ever created by Serra. It is made from 7 steel plates - each 78 feet high and 8 feet wide - arranged in a heptagonal or seven-sided shape.
It celebrates the spiritual and scientific significance of the number 7 in Islamic culture. Serra reflected, “I’ve been making towers for 30 years, and I’ve made several towers. But I’ve never made a tower like this tower”.
The work was inspired by a minaret in Afghanistan. The geometric layout of the sculpture and stability of the plates were tested under wind and seismic loads. The supports accommodate the expansion and contraction of the plates due to the large temperature gradients in the Middle East.
The sculpture reflects the reaction of metals to the corrosive saltwater spray from the sea, creating an intense colour and surface texture.