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3B was the first sculpture bought for the campus landscape. Thanks to a purchase fund from the Arts Council it was sited in the paved square between the Rootes building and the Rootes residences. The above photographs from the 1980s shows how the square was paved in a check design with one black brick square for the work. For years, this space has been known as Red Square. Students also call the work TOIL after the letter shapes of the forms that can be read from the residences.
Born in Germany, Schottlander came to Britain in 1939 and worked during the war as a welder. He later studied at the Central School of Arts and Crafts and set up his own workshop, becoming a full-time sculptor in 1963. He exhibited with the London group and at the ICA and had his first solo show in 1966. This confident and colourful work was chosen to provide interest in the space between the austere glass and white tiled walls of the Rootes buildings. It is a purely abstract work, as underlined in its title, and utilises industrial materials and methods of production. The variety in the shape and disposition of its separate elements draws attention to the spaces they create and gives the sculpture an elegant and assertive presence in its location.