Ascending and Descending





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  A model depicting my interpretation of M. C. Escher's "Ascending and Descending" lithograph.

In 1960 Mauritz Cornelis Escher produced this famous lithograph. I have loved his optical illusions ever since I first saw them as a child, and could think of no greater challenge for HADD7 than to construct an impossible building. (Some ideas seem a lot better after alcohol.) The two major problems were the creation of a working plan, and the constraint that it had to built using Hirst Arts pieces. Unfortunately for me, Bruce hasn't yet gotten round to making impossible four dimensional moulds, and Escher could make his arches any size he liked - and he seems to have liked a lot of different ones.
Having worked out the perspective viewpoint, I made my plans in Corel Draw, and worked out that, with a few custom bits and pieces, it could actually be done. This was the start of a major commitment in time, effort and the consumption of far too much coffee - but I think the results were worth the pain. Finally looking through the camera from the correct viewpoint where the building looks 'right' was at once quite unnerving and very satisfying. To put it in Escher's words: "Whoever wants to portray something that does not exist must obey the same rules as for the teller of fairy tales: he must produce contrasts, he must cause a shock."

View as per original lithograph. Same view with background.

(Large Image)

Overview of ground floor.
The fountain in the central courtyard. The statues on the east side of the courtyard. Crates and sacks in the cellar.
Barrels and two knight statues. The hidden crypt, with statue and sarcophagi. Brother doorkeeper's room, with view of the building.
Brother doorkeeper's bookcase. View down into the courtyard. Close-up of the front stairs.
The refectory all set out for a banquet. The warming room, with a fire blazing. The south facade and colonnaded entrance.
The east facade. Above the rooftops. The northeast corner, showing the domed roofs.
Close-up of the fish-scale roof tiles. Dear gods, please don't make me climb those bl**dy steps all day again!    

Moulds used: # 41 Gothic Dungeon Accessories, # 43 Gothic Panel Accessories, # 44 Gothic Additional Accessories, # 45 Gothic Dungeon Builder, # 54 Gothic Church, # 55 Bell Tower, # 61 Turret, # 201 Floor Tiles, # 230 Clay Roof Tiles

Custom Moulded Pieces: Balustrade, Knight statue, Triple window arches, Small arches, Corbels, Barrels, Crates, Doors, Books