Saltash Millennium Park, Cornwall, 2000
Aluminium and glass
Commissioned by Groundwork and Caradon County Council
The sculpture was selected from open competition and through consultation with local people. The commission included workshops with local children, talks and displays to involve and give ownership to the local community. It is situated by the river Tamar in the Millennium Park, built on a landfill site, including artworks, designed seating and railings and a BMX track. I also mentored a local artist during all phases of the commission.
The sculpture is a symbol of regeneration. It takes its inspiration from the Brunel Railway Bridge which can be seen from the site. It is made from sheet aluminium fins, slotting onto a central axis and bolted at each end.
The fins have glass magnifying lenses set into portholes along their length to distort the landscape. The idea is to visually link the surrounding area to the sculpture directly, while giving the local viewer a new perspective on their home, and on the ex-landfill park through the distortions of the lenses.
The aluminium fins which comprise the sculpture were milled at the nearby Devonport Royal Dockyards.
We used state of the art technology, more normally used to make components for nuclear submarines.
This process echoes the technical excellence and industrial prowess the area was famous for during the Brunel era.
The ‘flatpack’ sculpture was then assembled on site over a week.
Each ‘fin’ slots onto the square axel which is bolted onto a pad foundation via three footings
The whole piece is then tightened up using 80mm nuts
Sundial, Mile End, London 1998
Commission for Bethnal Green Housing Association, the frontispiece for a new housing development.
Reinforced concrete, 25mm thick float glass, mirror
Mile End is a diverse multicultural area, this informed my approach to the design, and my proposal was chosen by popular vote by the residents of the area. The monolithic sculpture is the gnomon to a sundial laid out in the cobbles around it.
The Sundial evokes the connection between the earth and the sky. It reveals changing atmospheres, the rhythm of the days and months. It reinforces the viewer’s relationship to the seasons within an urban, anthropocentric environment.
During workshops in local schools we made sundials and orreries, exploring concepts of Time and Space.
I also developed a system to cast glass within concrete in conjunction with a specialist glass engineer at Ove Arup
Concrete, steel, glass
These sculptures comprise repeated elements, fitted together to create the work. The parts are not quite mass- but maybe midi-production.
They have potential for multiple variation.
The recurring components evoke the idea of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts.
These are both totem and wayfinding sculpture. Looking through the inset lenses gives an alternative view on the surroundings, inviting you to find your own reality.
Our Museum was a three-year programme funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation involving nine UK museums and galleries working collaboratively with community partners in ways that embed community voices. See www.ourmuseum.org.uk
This piece of participatory art developed over the two days of the first peer review conference. Delegates included museum management, staff, volunteers and community partners. The artwork created an invitation for people to respond – sharing their thoughts, ideas, reactions, feelings, emotions in real time as the review took place.
Different coloured tracing paper reflected different categories and feelings. The anonymity of the window allowed freedom of communication in a way that face to face conversation did not. The positioning and ratio of colours created snapshots of the mood of the event.
A feedback loop emerged, as the participants started to comment not just on the conference and the programme but on each others contributions to the window.