Quirky, clever and distinctively different, Alex Chinneck’s latest installation, which is situated on top of an office complex in Hammersmith, west London, unites art and architecture in a captivating body of bright red face brick.
Quirky, clever and distinctively different, Alex Chinneck’s latest installation, which is situated on top of an office complex in Hammersmith, west London, unites art and architecture in a captivating body of bright red face brick. Known for his imaginative and engaging temporary public artworks such as From the Knees of my Nose to the Belly of my Toes and Pick Yourself Up and Pull Yourself Together, the British sculptor has entered into new territory – both literally and figuratively – with his first permanent public installation, titled Six Pins and a Half Dozen Needles.
Designed to resemble a page that’s been ripped down the centre, the installation clearly pays tribute to the building’s history by playfully reminding onlookers of the fact that it had been home to a publisher for two decades. After months of scanning torn sheets of paper and carefully examining them in order to make the building’s tear appear as authentic as possible, Chinneck has successfully managed to recreate a realistic looking tear using 4000 custom-made bricks.
Constructing the installation, however, was no small feat. 1000 separate stainless steel components and hundreds of unique bricks – each individually cut by hand and water – were required to create the tear. And a diverse team of structural engineers, brick makers, water cutters, steel fabricators, site welders, crane operators and tilers were contracted, over a period of 14 months, to make Chinneck’s design materialise. “The work was conceived to engage people in a fun and uplifting way,” explains Chinneck.
“I set out to create accessible artworks and I sincerely hope this becomes a popular landmark for London and positive experience for Londoners.” Whether or not Chinneck’s installation becomes a landmark has yet to be seen. But presently Six Pins and a Half Dozen Needles stands as a sculpture that tears apart our expectations of conventional building materials like face brick and forces us to take a break from the banal. Visit Corobrik if you’d like to view more inspiring face brick projects like this one.