Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Laura Ellen Bacon commission under way at Blackwell in Windermere

Willow artwork by Laura Ellen Bacon under construction at Blackwell, March 2012

Contemporary maker Laura Ellen Bacon is part of the way through installing her spectacular temporary art commission on the facade of Blackwell, the Arts and Crafts House in Bowness-on Windermere. The work has been developed in direct response to Laura’s knowledge and experience of Blackwell, its landscape environment and the climate within which it exists. 

The installation, Exposedcomprises of two large-scale curvaceous structures in red willow bonded to the building, which was built in 1900, and the retaining wall of one of the garden terraces. The form of the two ‘clinging’ structures, which will span two floors of the external elevation when complete, will emphasise their fragility against the relative permanence of the house. Installation began on 12th March, and the artwork will be on display at Blackwell until 30th September 2012. 

Laura Ellen Bacon was selected as a Jerwood Contemporary Maker 2010. Her work is site-specific and ecologically sound; she creates large scale ‘morphing’ structures, most often woven in willow or other coppiced materials.

Laura has said about her work:
"My large-scale installations are almost always built on site, allowing me to form the works in a way that truly fits its location. I began making my early works upon dry stone walls and evolved to work within trees, riverbanks and hedges, allowing the chosen structure (be it organic or man-made) to become host. Over a decade into my work, my passions have returned to not only merging with dry stone walls, but to the powerful connections with architecture. My work has to fuse with a building to succeed, both aesthetically and practically. The forms I make have such a closeness with the fabric of the building, their oozing energy spills from gutters, their 'muscular' forms nuzzle up to the glass and their gripping weave locks onto the strength of the walls. Whilst the scale and impact varies from striking to subtle (sometimes only visible upon a quizzical double take), I relish the opportunity to let the building 'feed' the form, as if some part of the building is exhaling into the work."

Bus Tops project launches in London

One of Mark Titchner's Bus_Tops artworks

Bus-Tops is a collaborative public art installation across 20 London boroughs. The project consists of 30 red and black LED screens dotted around London, on the roofs of bus shelters. Anyone in the world can create artwork for them, creating a new exhibition space for the public. The project began with 9 commissions from professional artists, with the public now able to create their own artwork and submit it to the curators. The displays are controlled via the internet, with the curators changing the images at different times of day and on different routes.

Mark Titchner, the Turner Prize nominee, was one of the first to display his work in a series of motivational challenges and inspirational commands. Some of them read, "If you don't like your life, you can change it" and "Act or be Acted Upon". His contribution comes from a self improvement programme with 31 slogans that change every day. His idea is for commuters to have a quick message they can take with them on their journeys.

The project is led by Art Public and funded by Arts Council England with support from TfL (Transport for London). TfL received a complaint about Mark Titchner's "Act or be Acted Upon" slogan from someone who considered it to be alarmist.

To read source article, visit: http://news.carrentals.co.uk/bus-shelters-get-olympic-inspired-art-34253287.html

Friday, 16 March 2012

Tony Cragg sculptures on loan at Exhibition Road

It might not be mentioned on the Exhibition Road website yet, but it's been in the latest issue of Vogue so thankfully I'm in the know.

The Cass Sculpture Foundation will be loaning a series of Tony Cragg (b.1949) sculptures for display on the new shared-space Exhibition Road (designed by Dixon Jones) in South Kensington during the London 2012 Festival. So unfortunately Guardian architecture critic Rowan Moore will be disappointed that Exhibition Road will, after all, be cluttered by public art.

Moore commented in his article dated 29 January,
'A particular joy is that there is no pointless public art; it was rightly decided that, with sculptures both outside and inside the museums, there was already enough art to go round.' Sorry, Rowan, WRONG. At least they're not permanent though, eh?


The artworks will be on show between September and November. Smaller-scale indoor works by Tony Cragg will be on display to the public at the V&A, the Science Museum, the Natural History Museum and Imperial College London alongside Exhibition Road. This will be the first London show of Tony Cragg’s outdoor sculpture.
Unsurprisingly, the display coincides with a Tony Cragg exhibition at the Cass Sculpture Foundation's parkland in Goodwood, Sussex between 21 June and 4 November. Guess they are hoping to ship a few more people out to Sussex this way.

Draisci Studio design pavilion for Clerkenwell Design Week

Building Design magazine reported this week that London-based Draisci Studio (led by Francesco Draisci) have been working with umbrella company Fultons to produce the temporary pavilion shown above as part of Clerkenwell Design Week which is held in May (22 - 24th).
Francesco Draisci said: “The ambition is to create a glamorous temporary environment that can truly disappear after the festival without leaving any waste behind but only good memories. It will be a public urban oasis for children and adults to gather.
“A full immersion in warm vivid colours can be energising.”
He said they are thinking about holding storytelling events under the pavilion which would involve designers.

Jeremy Deller commission for Glasgow International

Jeremy Deller, whose exhibition 'Joy in People' is currently on show at the Hayward Gallery in London, is presenting his first major public project in Scotland, titled 'Sacrilege', at this year's Glasgow International Festival of Contemporary Art.The work is set to head to London during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

It has a rather mysterious air. The Glasgow International website only describes it as 'an interactive public artwork to be situated on Glasgow Green for the duration of the festival', which runs April - May 2012. And: 'This major new work is characteristic of Deller’s on-going exploration of contemporary culture in all its forms.' The accompanying photo (pictured above) apparently of Deller looking at a bit of stone, is equally unforthcoming.
The last clue is: "‘Sacrilege’ may not be operational in extreme weather."

To find out the current status you can ring the info line on: 0141 287 2874 or follow the project on Twitter
Sacrilege has been co-commissioned by GI Festival 2012 in collaboration with the Mayor of London, and has been supported by Creative Scotland.

Can't wait to find out what the heck it is.

To visit the Glasgow International website, see: www.glasgowinternational.org

To see info about the project, visit: http://www.glasgowinternational.org/index.php/events/view/Sacrilege/

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Designs for first permanent Rachel Whiteread UK public art commission announced

The Art Fund has announced that it is contributing £200,000 towards the UK's first permanent Rachel Whiteread commission at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in East London. 

The work will cover the historic upper facade of the building (shown above left) in golden leaves, and will be unveiled on 1 June to coincide with the London 2012 Olympics (see: http://festival.london2012.com/events/9000961314 )

When the gallery was originally built in 1901 it was due to have a Walter Crane mosaic where the Rachel Whiteread commission will now be, but this didn't come about as it was judged too expensive and too big.

The Whiteread commission will fill a space 8 metres by 15 metres, with influences cited as the 'tree of life' motif which is already part of the building, the 'Hackney weed' Buddleia and the golden roof of the Secession building in Vienna. Whiteread decided that one of the things that makes buildings stand out is the use of gold.

Whiteread will also be casting four terracotta reliefs of existing gallery windows as a counterpoint to the gilded leaves.

Rachel Whiteread (b.1963) lives and works five minutes from the Whitechapel Gallery and has always had a special connection to East London. In probably still her most famous work, House, Whiteread cast the insides of a Victorian house in the East End. The work became a temporary sensation and provoked huge debate before it was knocked down in 1994. Whiteread also won the Turner Prize in 1993 (the first woman to do so) and was the third artist to exhibit on the Fourth Plinth in London in 2001.

To read the Art Fund's press release about the Whitechapel commission, visit: http://www.artfund.org/news/1287/whitechapel-announce-rachel-whiteread-commission