Keith Ackerman | Jacob’s Ladder

Stiffen the Sinews Photo: Adam Glatherine (Detail of Jacob’s Ladder)

Jacob’s Ladder is a sculpture by Keith Ackerman which, when scaled up from its current size would form the centrepiece for an area of amenity space bounding Tunstall Road and Dewsbury Road, South Leeds. Jacob’s Ladder is a story that occurs in The Bible, The Qu’ran and The Torah that symbolises a physical connection between Earth and Heaven. There can also be a secular reading for the sculpture with the idea of steps to improvement.

This sculpture would be made using the technique of direct carving, a traditional method of sculpting stone by hand, from locally sourced limestone, thereby making a connection physically and conceptually with the bedrock of the local area.

"Stone is the direct link to the heart of the matter - a molecular link. When I tap it, I get an echo of that which we are. Then the whole universe has resonance." Isamu Noguchi

An Interview . . .

The following interview is taking place by e-mail and will be updated with each response over the course of the Index Festival and On The Corner. . .

BD: Could you tell us a bit about your background and what has led you to stone carving?

KA: After a career as a Chartered Electrical Engineer I came to sculpting late. Following sculpting courses at Bradford and York colleges, including 7 years with the sculptor Dominic Hopkinson, I concentrate on stone carving and glass casting as my main artistic processes. My sculptures are abstract and often made from local stone. 

More to follow next week . . . .

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The Process . . .

Keith Ackerman | Jacob’s Ladder. (2017) Marble. Photo: Adam Glatherine

Selecting stone

Keith Ackerman | Sketch Book pages for scaling up design onto new piece of stone (Stone - front face)

Keith Ackerman | Sketch Book pages for scaling up design onto new piece of stone (Stone - right-hand side)

Keith Ackerman | Sketch Book pages for scaling up design onto new piece of stone (Stone -Left hand side)

Keith Ackerman | Sketch Book pages for scaling up design onto new piece of stone (Stone -Left hand side w/ overlaid design for staircase)

Test Carving

Beginning work on the larger carving