INDIAN MONUMENTAL SCULPTURE PROJECT UK
It began with a pair of tights and two rings. It will become the world’s largest public art project: five huge sculptures dotted around a region attempting to rejuvenate itself.
The Tees Valley Giants, unveiled today, are the work of Turner prize-winning artist Anish Kapoor and one of the world’s leading structural engineers, Cecil Balmond. The pieces will be placed, over the next ten years, in Middlesbrough, Stockton, Redcar, Hartlepool and Darlington.
The project, more than four years in the planning, was announced today with artist’s impressions of the first work, Temenos. The sculpture will fill what is currently a rather bleak landscape between Middlesbrough’s Transporter bridge and the Riverside stadium and, appropriately, at 110m will be as long as a football pitch. The 50m-high steel structure consists of a pole, a circular ring and an oval ring, all held together by a kind of cat’s cradle of steel wire.
Balmond knows how he wants people to react when they see it. “It will be a kind of awe, I think. It will be a new landscape.”
That said, the design will remind some of Marsyas, the Kapoor-Balmond work that filled Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall six years ago and is now – “sadly,” they say – rolled up and stored in a box in Norfolk.
The artist was brought on board in 2004 and says he was bowled over by how grand the thinking was. He told the Guardian: “This is without doubt the biggest art project in the world, in terms of ambition and scale – everything. It’s massive.”
Kapoor and Balmond said they worked together because of a shared interest in interrogating form.
“In many ways scale is a deep, mysterious and wonderful thing, and yet at some levels it gets a bad name. To reinvigorate and re-initiate scale is one of the things we’re about,” said Kapoor.
“There are all the arguments about public art – couldn’t we have spent money on a hospital, say – and all the arguments are correct. But what happens after a while is that these things have the possibility of infiltrating people’s consciousness. You can’t say it’s going to happen, but you can hope it does.”
Temenos will cost around £2.7m, while the whole project will involve a spend of some £15m.
Funding is coming from both public and private sources as well as a welcome meeting of football and conceptual art: Middlesbrough FC will stump up about £350,000. Subject to planning permission, work is due to start in the autumn and be completed by next summer.
The whole project was the idea of Joe Docherty, chief executive of Tees Valley Regeneration. He said it was a declaration that the area had changed, that it was prepared to take risks. “This isn’t something we need in the Tees valley. It’s something we deserve. This is a calling card that the area is on the turn.”
The Tees Valley Giants were announced on the same day that another monumental piece of public art, Antony Gormley’s Angel of the North, celebrated its tenth birthday; it is now one of the most recognised artworks in the UK.
Source: guardian.co.uk Full article here
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