Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Walk in sculpture aims to combat SAD

copyright James Yamada, courtesy of Parasol unit foundation
London-based foundation for contemporary art Parasol unit have recently unveiled the first in a series of new outdoor artworks by international artists called Parasolstice - Winter Light. 
The works will be exhibited throughout the winter months in the foundation’s outdoor space at Wharf Road, London, which will be open to the public free of charge. 

The first work, The summer shelter retreats darkly among the trees by American artist James Yamada, was launched on 22 November 2011 and will be open Tuesday - Sunday until 18 March 2012. 
The aluminium structure of Yamada’s installation shelters visitors from bad weather, and integrated into its rooftop are light elements at 10,000 lux, which is the sunlight-mimicking intensity referred to as ‘full spectrum light’. This is the light commonly used in light therapy to treat the symptoms of SAD (seasonal affective disorder). During the darkest months of the year, visitors are encouraged to enjoy the benefits of exposure to bright light.

James Yamada has forged a reputation for making ingenious constructions that create encounters between nature and technology. In The summer shelter retreats darkly among the trees the artist highlights how recent technology benefits mankind by helping to prevent illness.
Interesting project - even more intriguing is that Parasol unit are sponsored by Japan Tobacco International....

Hell's bells

 Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images Europe
Well hullo everybody, I have been neglecting this blog of late, haven't I? Time for some updating.

Conceptual artist Martin Creed's project for the London 2012 Festival, www.allthebells.com,
has been ruffling campanologist feathers.

The project is called Work No.1197: All the bells in a country rung as quickly and as loudly as possible for three minutes, and will take place at 8am on Friday 27 July 2012 - the first day of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The artwork has been specially commissioned for the Festival, and will form the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad.

The project website encourages the ringing of 'hand bells, door bells, bicycle bells, church bells, town hall bells, sleigh bells, cow bells, school bells, last orders bells, dinner bells....where there is a bell, we need someone to ring it!'

However, the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers has objected to the project via their president Kate Flavell, who wrote (slightly tersely) on her blog:
  • We are not able to work closely with this project as we believe it is misconceived and we were invited to become involved in its design too late to be able to help make it more workable for ringers.
  • We think 8 am is not the right time for ringing in very many towers and for very many ringers, although it is an improvement on the 4 am time they originally suggested, to mark the flame arriving in the UK.
  • We do not believe ringing for three minutes nor ringing as fast as possible is really suitable for church bell ringers.
To read the full blog entry, visit: http://www.cccbr.org.uk/council/blog/

What a shame that the CCCBR are pooh-poohing such an exciting, celebratory and inclusive project. Ok from a campanology point of view it might not be technically the right way of ringing bells, but so what?! Can't they just go with it and let themselves go crazy just this once?

There is a fantastically awkward video of the artist talking about the project here:

Hope everyone else will get ringing - visit www.allthebells.com if you want to take part.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Heatherwick's Blue Carpet attracts scrap metal thieves

Thomas Heatherwick's 'Blue Carpet' artwork outside the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle has become the latest victim of a spate of thefts that have been attributed to the current high value of scrap metal.

According to the Newcastle Journal, on 25th September 2011 thieves had stolen a smaller amount of bronze plating, but on the evening of 5th October 2011 thousands of pounds worth of bronze, which formed the border of the artwork, was taken. The two thefts are believed to be linked.
The artwork, which was originally completed in 2001, had cost around £1.4m (or £1.6m, depending on which source you believe) and been lottery funded as part of a regeneration initiative. While the artwork has disappointed some - its intended hue has not been very blue for some time - it is usually heralded for its playful nature and for blurring the boundaries between urban design and public art. It is sad indeed to see our public spaces being stripped in this way, especially when there is extremely limited funding for new commissioning at this time and local authorities are struggling to make savings.

Read the Newcastle Journal's original article here:

Read Alan Sykes' Guardian Northerner blog article about the theft here:

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Dalziel and Scullion artwork installed in Warwickshire

An artwork entitled Gold Leaf: Buried Sunlight by Dundee-based artists Dalziel + Scullion has been installed at Pooley Country Park, in Polesworth in Warwickshire. The park is located on the former Pooley Hall Colliery site, which is visible from the M42.

The work was officially unveiled on 30 September, and was part of a plan to regenerate the area through funding from the Homes and Communities Agency through their National Coalfields programme, and delivered by Warwickshire County Council.

The work is designed to complement the other site improvements, including a spiral path up the spoil heap.The ‘golden tower of leaves’ was selected as it is an idea with depth and relevance to the formation of the park. The Birch leaf is synonymous with Pooley, as Birch trees were one of the first species to recolonise the disturbed ground following the closure of the colliery.
The artwork has received some criticism in the national press (albeit in the Sunday Express and Daily Mail) for being commissioned at a time when the local authority have announced a 3-year programme to cut costs by £21m. In reality it was probably commissioned well before the cuts were even being thought about, and as is usually the case, as funding is not transferable, it is not as though a library could have been saved from closure instead....

To read the article on Warwickshire County Council's website, visit:

To watch a timelapse video of the artwork being installed, visit:

Monday, 24 October 2011

Sculpture park plans unveiled for Oslo

A new sculpture park featuring around 80 sculptures by international artists has been approved and is due to open in Oslo, Norway's capital, by 2014. The park will be located on Ekeburg Hill, south east of the city and 15 minutes from the city centre. The hill is renowned for having some of the best views of the city.

The park will be funded by the multimillionaire property investor and collector Christian Ringnes, who has already invested around 30 million Euros in the project.

The developer's taste has already been questioned by some, including a panel of selectors chosen to assess the art to be displayed. However, James Turrell, Dan Graham, Tony Oursler and Jenny Holzer are currently undertaking commissions, and works by artists such as Rodin and Dali have already been purchased. 

Read an article dated June 2011 here:

To read The Art Newspaper's full article, visit: http://www.theartnewspaper.com/articles/Oslo-to-get-giant-sculpture-park-by-2014/24866

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Should public art be retired?

Greyworld artist Andrew Shoben has recently made a programme for Radio 4, Change of Art, where he discusses whether art in public spaces could be rotated, and when it should be decommissioned.

He talks to Wilfred Cass at the Cass Sculpture Foundation, artist Antony Gormley, Sandy Nairne from the National Portrait Gallery, and a local authority public art officer to get their views.

Like many of these public art - focused programmes, it goes round and round in circles whil remaining essentially inconclusive, but it is worth a listen nonetheless.

The local authority officer interviewed fails to take account that a lot of public art commissioned is not publicly funded, as it is funded by the developer as part of a section 106 agreement.

You can listen to the programme on the iPlayer at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b015zm9b

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Comedy Carpet rolled out in Blackpool

Photograph by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images 

After 5 years' hard work and £4m, an artwork which spells out over 1,000 comedians' catchphrases and jokes has finally been completed in Blackpool. The granite and cast concrete work is a 'typographic pavement' covering a space of 1,880 square metres. It has been built into the promenade at the foot of the Blackpool Tower, and features 160,000 individually cut letters ranging in height from a few centimetres to almost a metre. The work was constructed in a former fish factory in Hull.

The artwork was officially opened by comedian Ken Dodd on 10 October, and references Blackpool's rich tradition of hosting comedy performances. In a video on Blackpool Gazette's website, the artist Gordon Young points out that around 80% of the comedians quoted (including Mae West) have performed in the town. 

Photo: Getty Images

Other comedians quoted in the work include Matt Lucas, Morecambe and Wise, Tony Hancock, Peter Kay, John Cleese, Kenneth Williams, Spike Milligan and Les Dawson.

To watch the video with an interview by the artist, visit:

To read the full article from The Guardian's Northerner blog, visit: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/the-northerner/2011/oct/11/blackpool-comedy-carpet 

Monday, 10 October 2011

Gillian Wearing project for Birmingham

Family Monument Trento, Gillian Wearing, 2008

Conceptual artist Gillian Wearing (b.1963) and IKON Gallery in Birmingham are working on a project to find 'the real Birmingham family'. The winners will be immortalised in bronze for a sculpture to be sited in Centenary Square, near the new central library, in 2013. The project will be a 'lasting celebration of Birmingham residents'. Families can nominate themselves by visiting www.arealbirminghamfamily.com and nominations remain open until 1 April 2012.

Gillian Wearing RA, 'Sixty Minute Silence', 1996. Colour video projection with sound, 60 minutes. Courtesy Maureen Paley, London
Gillian Wearing was born in Birmingham and was known as one of the YBAs (she exhibited in Sensation in 1997, the same year she won the Turner Prize). She is probably best known for Sixty Minute Silence (1996) the video she made, apparently of a group of policemen posing for a group photograph. At times they are so still the video could be mistaken at first glance for a photograph, but as the video goes on they get more fidget-y. The 'policemen' later turned out to be actors. Wearing's other work includes a series of photographs Signs that say what you want them to say and not Signs that say what someone else wants you to say (1992–93) and Dancing in Peckham (1994), a film of the artist dancing in a shopping centre in Peckham. 

© Gillian Wearing, courtesy Maureen Paley/ Interim Art, London

While Wearing has always been interested in the concept of 'family', the Birmingham project bears some intriguing similarities to Cornelia Parker's quest to find a local model for a bronze mermaid in Folkestone, as part of the Folkestone Triennial. It seems as though these projects are a sort of art X-Factor, that by involving local people somehow the artwork will gain credibility or respect. It is also reminiscent of Antony Gormley's Fourth Plinth work in which everyday people became the performers, or the artwork itself. Are contemporary artists running out of ideas for ways to engage the public and produce a work which will last 25 years in the public realm? I am really quite disappointed by this work, having previously admired the artist. But I will reserve my judgement for now, just in case the final work proves to be excitingly controversial.....otherwise, yawn.

New Claes Oldenburg sculpture is unveiled in Philadelphia

Photo by Tom Crane/ courtesy of Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Okay, so Claes Oldenburg's (b.1929) style of public sculpture is fairly old-school, but in my view there's still something quite pleasing about a 51-foot paintbrush. And he is 82. Paint Torch was commissioned at a cost of $1.5m by Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA) for the Lenfest Plaza, installed on 20 August 2011 and illuminated for the first time on 1st October 2011. It was funded by the Lenfest family and the city of Philadelphia, which has another three public works by Oldenburg created in the 1970s and early 80s, including one of his Oldenburg's first public sculptures, Clothespin, created in 1976.

Bob Krist© 1999 by Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corp.

The 'paintbrush' tilts at an angle, as if it were about to dip into the 'drop of paint' below, and is topped with illuminated bristles. You can watch a video made during the construction here: http://www.pafa.org/painttorch/ Paint Torch is the artist's first public work completed without his wife, Coosje van Bruggen, who died in 2009. Together they had previously collaborated to create 41 large-scale artworks. Claes Oldenburg is probably best known for his soft sculptures of everyday items such as hamburgers, bathtubs and lipsticks which were often deflated as if the party had just ended. Remarkably, Philadelphia has had a Per Cent for Art policy since 1959 - which was the first of its kind in the USA.

You can read more on the PAFA's website here: http://www.pafa.org/About/Lenfest-Plaza/Oldenburg-s-Paint-Torch/843/ and read The Art Newspaper's article about the artwork here: http://www.theartnewspaper.com/articles/Oldenburg-s-eternal-flame/24674

Friday, 12 August 2011

Will Self artwork in Brixton

all images by urban75

Author, Brixton resident and the man who brought the phrase 'this whole imbroglio is epiphenomenal' to Newsnight, Will Self has co-produced an artwork with his nephew Jack which has recently been installed in Brixton.

The work, as you would expect, revolves around words and aims to celebrate the rich and diverse language of Brixton. Will spent a month in early summer listening to conversations in and around Brixton market, along Electric Lane and Brixton Road. 

The sounds, words and conversations he heard are displayed in a light installation on the side of the Iceland supermarket, at the west end of Brixton's Electric Avenue. 

Will says, "Brixton Speaks is an artwork intended to reflect the people who live, work and shop in Brixton Market and its environs the way they themselves speak. The aim of Brixton Speaks is not to antagonise, shock, or distort, but simply to mirror the great vigour, invention and diversity of Brixtonians."

You can read more about all of the projects in Lambeth, including projects by Lucy Casson and Maggi Hambling, here:

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Intersections call for papers for 2012 conference

Intersections at the University of Newcastle are hosting an international interdisciplinary conference exploring the temporality of contemporary public arts practice.

The conference, Duration, will take place 29-30 March 2012 as part of AV Festival.

Intersections aims to generate critical dialogue about public art practice and develops related practice-based and theoretical research.

Intersections invites papers and presentations of work that explore the tensions between permanence and temporality in contemporary public arts practice. If you wish to submit a paper, email abstracts (300 words) for 20 minute presentations of papers, reflections on practice or proposals for 1hr workshops to: info@intersectionspublicart.org.uk

Possible themes include, but are not restricted to:
Permanent / Ephemeral: how do ephemeral practices disrupt, agitate or question the permanence of contemporary social and physical landscapes? How do ‘permanent’ rhetorical topoi in our landscapes retain relevance and evoke meaning against the continual pulse of change? What are the dialogues between ephemerality and permanence in contemporary practice and how do they relate to broader social and political discourse? How do we inscribe temporary acts/events into more permanent forms and what are the implications of this?Duration: What is the duration of a public artwork? In commissioned work, how are demands for ‘visual’ deliverables mediated with desires for socially-engaged and place-enriching practice? In our consideration or evaluation of public art projects, are we too quick to judge? How does duration affect our perception of value? Is there a different temporality to urban and rural works?Expectation: How have contemporary art practices used temporal disruption to alter the audience’s expectations and experience? How is contemporary public art practice engaging with technology to disrupt desires for immediacy?

The conference responds to the AV Festival 2012 theme of Slowness, the Festival aims to slow down the biennial experience by presenting work at multiple venues and at different paces, speeds and times of day. 

Upper River Cam Biodiversity Project Artist Commission

Deadline: 23 August 2011

Cambridge City Council wishes to include an artist commission as part of a wider project entitled the Upper River Cam Biodiversity Project. The Upper River Cam Biodiversity project encompasses a complex of five natural green spaces on the banks of the river Cam, adjacent to the heart of the historic centre of the city. The proposed works as part of this project include habitat enhancements and improvements to access, wayfinding, legibility and interpretation.

One of the issues within these interconnected green spaces, which form the Upper River Cam Biodiversity Project is poor legibility, in terms of understanding, which space one may be entering and what is special about that space. This commission aims to explore and address this issue, by adding the value of an artist to provide creative interpretation to the project and celebrate the contexts of the spaces. The Council have identified a range of objectives the project could address: Help people to understand the value of the spaces and inspire them to engage with the natural environment; Improve the understanding of the relationships of the spaces with each other; Promote awareness of the diverse range of biodiversity within the spaces; Promote awareness of the history of each space and celebrate what is special about those spaces. It is envisaged that the artist will explore developing artwork proposals, to be located at the periphery of the spaces (which includes entrances), on key routes and at points of interest.
All elements of the artwork must be completed and installed on site by November 2012. The specific budget set aside for the artwork/s is £27,500. 
Further Information

To receive a full copy of the brief, email: Carly.Hayward[at]cambridge.gov.uk

Olympic Art Commissions Take Shape

Permanent public art commissions are part of the creative programme of London's 2012 Olympics and as well as the outrageously enormous Anish Kapoor work, the ArcelorMittal tower (see a video here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-12584721) and the Floating Cinema I've already talked about on my blog, the programme includes works by Monica Bonvicini, Carsten Nicolai, and Hackney-based Martin Richman. The project also includes an artist-in-residence, Neville Gabie.

Italian artist Monica Bonvicini's work, Run, will be located outside the Handball arena, and is due for completion this Autumn (2011). The work consists of three 9-metre tall letters forming the word 'RUN'. The sculpture will be made of glass and stainless steel, producing a mirrored effect during the day, while at night the letters will become more transparent and glow with internal LED lighting. Ten years ago Monica had a solo show titled 'RUN, TAKE one SQUARE or two' which included the song 'Running Dry' by Neil Young and reminded people of the famous Velvet Underground song 'Run Run Run'. It is this strain of work which the project returns to. Read more about Monica here: http://artforum.com/index.php?pn=interview&id=1061 

Carsten Nicolai's work ifo spectrum converts the five rings of the Olympic emblem into their temporal equivalent - an image of the loops of a sound wave as a low frequency oscillation or ifo. Applied in an unfolding natural colour gradient derived from the spectrum of a sunset, it creates five 'cycles of intensity across the circumference of the [Olympic] site. The artist's website states that 'the visual quality of the panel frieze, with its oscillating colour gradients, together with the shifting play of sunlight, challenges the viewer's sense of the frieze's structure and expanse.'   

Martin Richman's One Whirl, is incorporated into one of the new bridges near the Velodrome and on the walls and ceiling of an underpass that will allow pedestrians to walk under the A12 road. 

To read full details about all of the artworks and projects, visit:

Luke Jerram's Sky Orchestra flies over London

Bristol artist Luke Jerram's project, Sky Orchestra, took flight over London at the end of July as part of LIFT, the London International Festival of Theatre.

The project was a collaboration with composer Dan Jones who composed the music played from the balloons at dawn and dusk, creating a 'massive audio landscape'. 

The performance took place to herald a year to go to the 2012 Olympics in London. 

Another of Luke's projects, Aeolus, a wind pavilion, has recently been installed at Lyme Park in Cheshire. The artwork will be displayed at MediaCity in Salford (27 Aug - 10 Sept) and afterwards at the Eden Project in Cornwall (from 16th September). To read more visit: www.lukejerram.com/aeolus  

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Martin Creed's Work No 1059, the Scotsman Steps, is installed in Edinburgh

Photo by Tom Finnie
At the heart of this year's Edinburgh Art Festival  (4 August - 4 September 2011) is the unveiling of a permanent commission by Wakefield-born artist and musician Martin Creed.

The work was commissioned by The Fruitmarket Gallery for Edinburgh Art Festival with support from the Scottish Government’s Expo Fund and took a while to deliver - it was meant to have been finished by last year's festival. Work No. 1059 consists of 104 steps leading from the Scotsman Hotel on North Bridge to Waverley Station, The Fruitmarket Gallery and City Art Centre on Market Street, each step clad in a different colour of marble.

Photo courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth; photograph by Gautier Deblonde

The Scotsman Steps were built in 1899 as part of the ‘Scotsman Building’ for the Scotsman newspaper, and have recently been refurbished by Edinburgh City Council and Edinburgh World Heritage. Work No.1059 forms a key part of the refurbishment, and is a visually spectacular, beautiful and thoughtful response to this historic artery. Creed describes the project as a microcosm of the whole world – stepping on the different marble steps is like walking through the world, the new staircase dramatising Edinburgh’s internationalism and contemporary significance while recognising and respecting its historical importance.

The work can be found at: Scotsman Steps, 45 Market Street, EH1 1DF and happily can be viewed Monday - Sunday between 5am and midnight. See if you can squeeze it in during those hours.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Bold Tendencies sculpture project opens in Peckham car park

Adaptable Boardwalk (with Three Genetic Drifts) by David Brooks...
with the city of London in the background

The 5th edition of Bold Tendencies, the sculpture show on the upper floors of Peckham car park, opened to the public on 30 June. The show will run until 30 September, is free of charge, and open Thurs - Sun 11am - 10pm. 

Untitled(Osaka) by Eva Berendes

Bold Tendencies was the brainchild of the Hannah Barry Gallery, but has in recent years received public funding and is a non-profit making enterprise, with the aim of 'showcasing new art by international artists'. 

Tube by Lilah Fowler

The first Bold Tendencies took place in 2007, and has been growing ever since. 45,000 people attended the 2010 event. The 2011 event includes 15 large-scale new artworks. 

The top floor of the car park is occupied by a temporary 'pop-up' restaurant, Frank's Cafe and Campari Bar designed by Practice Architecture (Lettice Drake and Paloma Gormley). 

Restaurant designed by Practice Architecture

A new auditorium made of straw has been commissioned for 2011, which will host a series of screenings and events. For the events programme, visit: http://boldtendencies.com/events 

Straw auditorium

UP Projects' Floating Cinema project launched

On 1 July 2011 East London-based arts organisation UP Projects, one of the Arts Council's new NPOs, launched its most recent project: the Floating Cinema. This water-borne cinema space (a converted canal boat) will spend July - September navigating the canals and waterways around the Olympic Park in East London. The Floating Cinema has been produced by UP Projects, but was designed by artists StudioWeave. The project was originally created by artists and filmmakers Nina Pope and Karen Guthrie, otherwise known as Somewhere, and winners of the first ever Northern Art Prize in 2007. The programme of screenings and events has been curated by Somewhere.

Inside the cinema (capacity: 12) Photo by Je Ahn

The project is a continuation of UP Projects 'Portavilion' programme of temporary pavilions for London's public spaces. The great benefit of the Floating Cinema being, of course, that it is not only portable, but doesn't even require to be de-constructed in order to be re-erected elsewhere. Plus you're surrounded by the wildlife of the canals while in transit - an extremely relaxing way to travel.

The cinema will host intimate onboard screenings and discussions as well as providing a base for larger outdoor events at different locations on the waterways throughout summer. The programme includes new films made by local film-makers, historic archive screenings and tours by writers Iain Sinclair, Richard Mabey & Michael Smith and comedy performances by Holly Burn, Susie Donkin & Jemima Burrill. 

The project forms part of the Create 2011 summer festival and is commissioned by The Olympic Delivery Authority and funded by Arts Council England.

For the full events programme, visit: http://floatingcinema.info/events/ 

Mark Wallinger's White Horse for Ebbsfleet cost soars to £12m

The Ebbsfleet Landmark project's winning design by Mark Wallinger, with an original estimated budget of £2m, now has some more realistic figures in and the cost looks to be about 6 times the original intended cost. 

To read the Art Newspaper's full article, visit:

Cecil Balmond appointed to work with Charles Jencks on Gretna Landmark project

Architect Cecil Balmond has been appointed to work with landscape designer and architectural theorist Charles Jencks to design a new 'integrated sculptural form and landscape' to mark the border crossing between Scotland and England at Gretna. Titled the Star of Caledonia, the design is intended to welcome people travelling on the M74. 

The project has come at a time when there is a great deal of ongoing discussion about Scotland becoming independent of England. 

To watch a video with author Ian Rankin talking about why he likes Cecil Balmond's design, visit: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-south-scotland-13992689  

To read the full story, visit: http://www.creativescotland.co.uk/news/cecil-balmond-selected-to-work-with-charles-jencks-on-an-innovative-contemporary-landmark-for-s

To find out more about the project, visit: www.gretnalandmark.com

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Knowle West launches Public Art Strategy

On 17th May 2011 Knowle West Media Centre in Bristol, UK (one of the Arts Council's new National Portfolio Organisations) hosted the launch of The Manual: A Public Art Strategy for Knowle West. 

To download a copy of the strategy, visit:

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Web project by Simon Faithfull

Simon Faithfull's web-based artwork, Limbo http://limbo.simonfaithfull.org/ shares live drawings by the artist. Over the last 10 years, Simon Faithfull (b.1966) has consistently made drawings on an electronic device (an etch-a-sketch I think) that record his presence in a particular place, at a particular moment, somewhere on the surface of the planet. To date, over 500 observational sketches record what he saw in each of these places. These details of everyday life have slowly built up to record his wanderings from Whitechapel High Street to Antarctica and back.

Limbo makes this entire back-catalogue of drawings available, and presents new sketches live to the user, the moment that they are made. This digital, instantaneous platform mirrors the process by which Faithfull makes the drawings. The work also creates a personal atlas of the world, mapping time and space, as experienced by one individual, on an ongoing basis.

The works are both curiously old fashioned and up-to-date at the same time. 

Daniel Buren artwork to be installed at Tottenham Court Road Tube Station

As part of the £1 billion expansion of Tottenham Court Road tube station in London, Transport for London have commissioned French artist Daniel Buren (b.1938) to create a new permanent installation, expected to be in place by 2016. 

The artwork consists of a colourful series of diamond and circle shapes that will cover the internal glass walls of the station. The work will become a major feature of the station's new entrance hall, which accommodates some 200,000 commuters and tourists a day. Transparent versions of the work will serve to section off the ticket areas. Buren is also designing a sculpture of the shapes for the station's ticket hall, which will be displayed behind glass.

London has become well known for its Art on the Underground programme, which has included previous commissions by Bill Fontana, Liam Gillick, Eva Rothschild, Jeremy Deller, Richard Woods, Mark Wallinger, David Batchelor and Barbara Kruger to name but a few. 

To read the Art Newspaper article about the Buren project, including quotes from Buren, visit:

Thursday, 26 May 2011

New Jem Finer project launches Stour Valley Arts' new gallery space

'Still' by Jem Finer. Photo © Jem Finer

Stour Valley Arts in Kent have commissioned 'Still', a new artwork by Jem Finer to celebrate the opening of their new gallery in Ashford town centre. The artwork will be launched at the gallery on 11th June and will remain on display until 26 July 2011.

Jem Finer is renowned for his spectacular Artangel commission 'Longplayer' a one thousand year long musical composition and his triple award winning 'Score for a Hole in the Ground' at Stour Valley Arts, a work that relied exclusively on gravity and weather to create an endless score. Jem was also one of the founding members of The Pogues.

Following the success of 'Score for a Hole in the Ground', SVA is proud to present this new work resulting from Finer's further exploration of King's Wood. Taking advantage of the remote forest setting, Finer hid a solar-powered camera within a tree for a full year - a passive observer, recording all that passed before its lens. Finer then designed computer software to continually re-order the 18,000 captured photographs. This generative sequencing system means that the flow of time is continuously being stretched and compressed, ebbing and flowing. Between dawn and dusk the viewer is as likely to witness the passing of a single day as the turning of a full year's seasons.

In 'Still', Jem Finer has created a new form lying somewhere between photography and film - a still image in a state of constant flux. We see the same view through the seasons, through rain, shine, day and night. What seems static is actually an endless series of transitions both subtle and dramatic. No two viewings of the work are ever the same, as the film is continually finding new and different paths through the days, weeks and months.

'Still' reveals Finer's interest in designing intricate programs and complex structures that enable an interface with the macro, the cosmological and the infinite.

About Stour Valley Arts
Stour Valley Arts in Kent is recognised as one of the leading commissioning agencies for site specific contemporary art in the UK. It was established in 1994 and quickly gained an international reputation for showing exciting new contemporary art works within a forest setting.

The organisation is situated in the King's Wood, a 1500-acre forest and designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, in Challock, Kent. The ancient woodland, was historically a royal hunting forest, and although a large herd of fallow deer still inhabit the place, it is now better known for housing important art works that are visited by thousands of people every year.

Gallery Expansion
The success of the organisation means it is now able to expand and to have a visible presence outside of the forest. The new gallery space will act as a fulcrum or focal point for the organisation playing a central role in highlighting the work of SVA at King's Wood. As well as a being a nerve centre and communication hub for the organisation, the new gallery space in Ashford underscores and cements the relationship it already has with the town. The gallery will provide a gateway to the organisation's natural home, King's Wood.

Stour Valley Arts Gallery is located 5 minutes from Ashford International Station with High Speed connection from London St. Pancras and connections from Charing Cross, Victoria, Brighton and Margate.

A fleet of high speed trains means that Ashford is just 37 minutes from St Pancras International, parts of East Kent are now effectively closer to the West End than some areas of outer London.

Contact Details
Stour Valley Arts Gallery, Elwick Road, Ashford, Kent TN23 1NR. Gallery opening hours, Wednesday - Saturday 10am - 5pm
Launch Event Saturday 11 June 2011, 11am-2pm