Design

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Alex Chinneck unveils first permanent sculpture at Assembly London

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British artist Alex Chinneck has completed his latest monumental artwork entitled “Six pins and half a dozen needles” at Assembly London. This landmark public artwork is Chinneck’s first permanent sculpture and follows projects that include a 35-metre inverted electricity pylon, a melting house constructed from 7,500 wax bricks and a hovering stone building for London’s Covent Garden Piazza.

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Reaching 20-metres above ground level and weighing ten-tonnes, the artwork theatrically animates the structure from which it leans, uniting Chinneck’s signature use of art, architecture and engineering to create an ambitious combination of surrealism and spectacle. Constructed from 4,000 bricks and over 1,000 stainless steel components, the installation represents a 14-month collaboration of British art and industry with engineers, steelworkers and brick-makers working alongside the artist’s team.

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Speaking about the artwork, Chinneck said: “The work was conceived to engage people in a fun and uplifting way. Although we use real brick, it was designed with a cartoon-like quality to give the sculpture an endearing artifice and playful personality. I set out to create accessible artworks and I sincerely hope this becomes a popular landmark for London and positive experience for Londoners. Following 14-months of development, this represents my studio’s first permanent project and we are excited to be working on more. Forthcoming artworks include a trail of four sculptures with a combined height of 163-metres that will be constructed from over 100,000 bricks.”

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The artwork, commissioned by AXA Investment Managers - Real Assets, is situated on Assembly London, a major mixed-use urban campus comprising four buildings totalling 220,000 sq ft. The space will be home to offices, retail units and restaurants designed to create a highly collaborative community-based work environment. Prior to redevelopment, the site functioned as the home of a publisher for over two decades and the artwork appropriately resembles a torn sheet of paper, albeit monumental in size, weight and complexity.

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Commenting on the commission, Harry Badham, AXA IM - Real Assets’ UK Head of Development, said: “Successful workplaces in today’s world are the home of creative thought which is why we made art integral to our vision for the Assembly London master plan. It has been a pleasure working with Alex in creating this thought provoking installation which is accessible to everybody and will hopefully raise smiles and questions alike.”

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Alex Chinneck’s “Six pins and half a dozen needles” is a permanent installation and can be viewed at Assembly London, 77 Fulham Palace Road, London, W6 8JA. Chinneck is a graduate of Chelsea College of Art and a trustee of the Royal British Society of Sculptors. His work has been featured extensively by international media with selected projects welcoming over one million visitors. His past works include a giant Christmas tree enclosed in an ice cube at Kings Cross, a 35-metre inverted electricity pylon in Greenwich, a melting house constructed from 7,500 wax bricks in Southwark and a hovering stone building for Covent Garden.

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