Art That Made Us: Amanda presents in new landmark BBC series

Amanda explores the enduring influence of the Tulip Stairs by Inigo Jones

April 7 2022

Art That Made Us is a new series from the BBC that presents an alternative history of the British Isles, told through art. Covering 1,500 years across eight episodes, acclaimed artists and thinkers including Michael Sheen, Eddie Izzard and Cornelia Parker encounter key historic art works from across the country that have shaped the UK as well as their own work. In episode four, airing on BBC Two at 9pm on Thursday 28 April, Amanda explores the Tulip Stairs in the Queen’s House in Greenwich, the first geometric self-supporting spiral stair in Britain, designed by Inigo Jones.

‘As an architect it’s often what you don’t do that counts. Mozart said: “The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between.’’ I think the architectural equivalent of that is the silence of the void in these stairs, the architecture of the in between. Architects have always seen the design of the staircase as an opportunity to bring drama to the everyday, and these certainly do.’

The first episode featuring Antony Gormley and the fifth century clay figure Spong Man airs tonight at 9pm on BBC Two, with all episodes available shortly after on BBC iPlayer.