THE SMITHFIELD UTAH TEAPOT A NEW SCULPTURE ALAN BUTLER

TEAPOT IN SMITHFIELDPHOTOGRAPHED BY WILLIAM MURPHY

This is my second time to photograph this large teapot. The last time I used an iPhone 12 Pro Max and I think that the resulting images were better.

The Smithfield Square Lower commission invited artists to propose an artwork that promotes meaningful interaction between people and place through contemporary sculptural practice. It asked artists to consider how public sculpture can define a space and re-focus people’s attention, enabling a deeper and enduring relationship between residents, workers, tourists, commuters and a city-centre neighbourhood.

The Utah teapot, or the Newell teapot, is a 3D test model that has become a standard reference object and an in-joke within the computer graphics community. It is a mathematical model of an ordinary Melitta-brand teapot that appears solid with a nearly rotationally symmetrical body. Using a teapot model is considered the 3D equivalent of a "Hello, World!" program, a way to create an easy 3D scene with a somewhat complex model acting as the basic geometry for a scene with a light setup. Some programming libraries, such as the OpenGL Utility Toolkit,even have functions dedicated to drawing teapots.

The teapot model was created in 1975 by early computer graphics researcher Martin Newell, a member of the pioneering graphics program at the University of Utah. It was one of the first to be modelled using bézier curves rather than precisely measured.

Alan Butler is an artist living and working in Dublin. Educated at NCAD, Dublin and LaSalle College of the Arts, Singapore, he works across a range of media to primarily explore digital cultures and video games. His work has been exhibited widely in museums, galleries and arts festivals around the world, and is part of many collections, including The Irish Museum of Modern Art, The National Gallery of Ireland, and the Arts Council of Ireland. He is part of the multi-disciplinary collective Annex, which will represent Ireland at the Venice Biennale of Architecture 2021.

Note: Smithfield is a city in Cache County, Utah, United States. The population was 9,495 at the 2010 United States Census, with an estimated population of 12,025 in 2019. It is included in the Logan, Utah-Idaho Metropolitan Statistical Area, and is the second largest city in the area after Logan, the county seat.
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