Alex Chinneck on his four-and-a-half-metre high, 15-foot long "curled-up" parking spot at the Southbank Centre
“I’m interested in art but I’m also interested in architecture and theatre, engineering and construction in industry. This particular project amalgamates those interests.
I see sculpture as the physical reinterpretation of the material world around us and so by introducing fictional narratives into familiar scenarios, I try to make everyday situations as extraordinary as they can be.
I choose to do this through illusions because I think there is something both optimistic and captivating about defying the realms of possibility.
To create this illusion we worked with structural engineers to design a structure that supports the car when it’s inverted and hanging upside down. The key factor was making the car as light as possible.
The internal skeleton of this thing is a hidden steel structural framework and then that’s clad in a treatment that’s made elsewhere. We then had to engineer a system where we could connect the car to it safely and in a way that it could hang upside down and look believable.
Click on the picture to launch a gallery of the work
It just made sense that we would create this illusory fluidity in a typically inflexible material like tarmac. The great thing about silica is it makes anything possible. The exact mould goes in, so it’s seamless.
I also wanted to design a concept that could be installed overnight, so during the day it just looked like standard practise, like a group of builders were just excavating the road surface, and then at night we turn up and drop this thing in.
It’s nice, I think, that it has this kind of classic backdrop of the London Eye and Big Ben. I like public artwork because it does encourage us to look up and look around.”
- You can see the sculpture at the Southbank Centre, London until February 25 2015.
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