Alex Chinneck for Vauxhall Motors: Pick yourself up and pull yourself together.
British artist Alex Chinneck today revealed his latest illusory artwork in collaboration with Vauxhall Motors
. Following 2014s floating building in Covent Garden, Pick yourself up and pull yourself together sees the artist hang a new Vauxhall Corsa 15 feet in the air while still attached to the road at Londons Southbank Centre.
The collaboration with Vauxhall Motors turns a parking space on its head, peeling back 15 metres of arching tarmac to turn a one tonne car upside-down as the vehicle hangs from the curling road with no visible supports.
Vauxhall Motors commissioned Chinneck to create a piece inspired by the new Corsa, which was launched earlier this year with a campaign based on an A-Z of British motoring. The gravity defying piece of parking will hang in Hungerford Car Park, beside The London Eye, until Wednesday 25th February 2015.
Speaking on the artwork, Alex Chinneck said, 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.
With an effortlessly curling road I hoped to transcend the material nature of tarmac and stone, giving these typically inflexible materials an apparent fluidity. Vauxhall Motors allowed me a great amount of creative freedom and this collaboration offered my studio an exciting platform to explore new areas of engineering and fabrication.
After making Covent Garden hover with 2014s Take My Lightning, But Dont Steal my Thunder and A Pound of Flesh for 50p where a house in Southwark gradually melted to the ground, Alex wanted to create a public installation of significant sculptural and theatrical impact, which complimented the new Corsas design.
Commenting on the commission, Mark Adams, Head of Design at Vauxhall Motors said: The installation certainly celebrates the new Corsa as a ball of energy a small car with a big heart. Alex Chinnecks work is astounding, hes an amazing British sculptor who creates illusionary structures with the most in-depth engineering and design. Above all, the gravity defying rip curl embodies the fun people have driving the much-loved Vauxhall Corsa.
As well as Alex himself, the sculpture has been produced by a team of structural engineers, steel benders, scenic artists, metal workers, carpenters, tarmac layers and road painters, creating an object that was designed to occupy the absolute maximum UK road-legal dimensions so it can be installed overnight.
Simple in concept yet structurally, technically and logistically complex, this project looks to deliver an experience that can be appreciated by different people for different reasons. While I am most excited by the hidden engineering and complex manipulation of concealed steel, others will simply enjoy the accessible theatricality of the illusion at play, said Alex Chinneck.
Vauxhall Motors has worked with documentary director Chris Tubbs to create both a behind-the-scenes film, offering insights into how the project developed and a time-lapse of the pieces installation.
Alex Chinneck for Vauxhall Motors: Pick yourself up and pull yourself together is currently running from Thursday 19th February until Wednesday 25th February at the Southbank Centre Car Park.
Alex Chinneck is a British artist and designer who lives and works in London. Uniting art, architecture, theatre and engineering, his public installations are considerable in scale and ambition. Each of Chinnecks projects are conceived in response to the place in which they stand and so they are unique and belonging to their location. Over the past three years the artist has realised a continuous succession of projects that have repeatedly captured international admiration and attention.
These include using 1248 pieces of glass to create the illusion that 312 windows of a dilapidated factory in Hackney had been identically smashed and cracked, sliding the entire brick facade from a seaside house in Margate into the front garden of the property, inverting two four-storey buildings beside Blackfriars bridge, constructing a full size house from 7500 wax bricks that proceeded to melt over 30 days and creating the illusion that a stone building upon Covent Garden Piazza had miraculously levitated into the air.
Still under thirty years of age, the artist is one of the youngest members of the Royal British Society of sculptors and is currently working with countless companies across British industry, engineering and manufacturing to develop innovative and accessible public projects.