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Ria Bancroft and Pat Mulcahy Energetic Forms, 1965-1966

20 November 2023

Carved wood, plastic resin and applied colour.
UC/SFA/730i. Commissioned 1965.
Location: Ilam Campus, Science Lecture Theatres, Level 2


This art work is unavailable due to the Science Lecture Theatre being demolished. We hope to have a new home for it in the future.

'Energetic Forms' was designed by Ria Bancroft and crafted with Pat Mulcahy for the foyer of the University of Canterbury Science Lecture Theatre in 1965. It was planned to be made from carved mahogany and bronze resin, with a length 27 feet. The work was commissioned by the Ministry of Works specifically for the building.

Created during Bancroft’s younger and more experimental days, 'Energetic Forms' is abstract and unlike most of her other works. Shying away from objectivity, instead it attempts to capture and engage an active observer through a visual representation of movement. 'Energetic Forms' dates from Bancroft’s liquid metal phase, where she would mix resins, metallic powders and various other elements together to produce a range of textures.

The concept drawings and maquette for Energetic Forms are also held in the University’s art collection. These were generously donated by Peb Simmons, Ria Bancroft’s daughter, in 1994.

Ria Bancroft and Pat Mulcahy
Energetic Forms, 1965-1966
Artist's Biography

Ria Bancroft, (1907-1993)

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