A new public art piece in London flips the very notion of art and artwork on its head, quite literally. The Hackney-based artist Alex Chinneck refashioned an abandoned building into an upside down public sculpture piece by completely rotating the building’s façade 180 degrees.
Chinneck sourced all the materials for the piece through donations and installed it solely with the help of volunteers. The outer shell is made of “brick slips,” a flattened brick material that stands in for the real thing. Following the design of the original building, the new installation is a completely convincing rendition of the right-side-up.
Here is how the artist describes the work:
The work is titled 'Miner on the moon'. It is located just south of Blackfriars Bridge at 20 Blackfriars Road SE1 8NY and was produced as the finale to Merge Festival 2013.
Built in 1780, the site was originally used as livery stables housing horses and carriages for hire. The access through the site (the underpass to the bottom right of the building) was used to ferry live cattle from the rear yard to the Thames for trade. I was interested by how the architectural silhouette of the building had been created with this function in mind and I wanted to conceive a concept that responded to this shape and the buildings history.
The material and aesthetic decisions within the project celebrate the architectural heritage of Southwark and the timeless charm of its fatigued buildings. By presenting a very familiar architectural scenery and narrative in an inverted way, the audience hopefully re-appreciates the buildings and moments of our daily environments that we allow to slip into our subconscious.