British sculptor Alex Chinneck has turned a Vauxhall Corsa into a work of art as his newest creation has been unveiled at the Southbank Centre in London.
Mr Chinneck collaborated with Vauxhall Motors to create the illusory sculpture, called Pick Yourself Up and Pull Yourself Together which shows a parking space being turned on its head. The artwork shows a piece of tarmac peeled back from the road into a curl that is 15 metres in height. Suspended from this is a Vauxhall Corsa, which weighs about one tonne, that seems to cling to the piece of road in spite of having no visible support.
Vauxhall Motors commissioned him to create a piece of art that was inspired by the new Corsa, a car that was launched earlier this year and was backed by a campaign based on an A-Z of British motoring.
Mr Chinneck said of his artwork: “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.”
It isn’t the first time that Mr Chinneck’s surreal creations have been seen around London. During 2014, he unveiled what appeared to be a floating building in Covent Garden. This was titled Take My Lightning But Don’t Steal my Thunder. He also created a piece titled A Pound of Flesh for 50p, where a house in Southwark was shown to be melting gradually into the ground.
In the case of this new sculpture, Mr Chinneck wanted to create a public installation that would have a big sculptural and theatrical impact while complimenting the design of the new Corsa.
To help with building the sculpture, Mr Chinneck had a team of structural engineers, steel benders, metal workers, scenic artists, tarmac layers, carpenters and road painters behind him. These people helped to create an object intended to occupy the absolute maximum road-legal dimensions according to UK law so that it could be installed overnight.
Mr Chinneck explained that while the concept of this sculpture is simple, it is complex in terms of technicalities and logistics. He hopes that the artwork will provide an experience that many different people can appreciate for a variety of reasons.
He says that he personally is most excited about the hidden engineering and complex manipulation of concealed steel that went into this project, while others will simply enjoy the theatrical aspects at play with the illusion.
Those interested in seeing the gravity-defying Vauxhall Corsa sculpture can do so by heading to the Southbank Centre Car Park, next to the London Eye, sometime before Wednesday February 25th 2015.
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