Alex, a graduate of the Chelsea College of Art and trustee of the Royal British Society of Sculptors, has previously known success with popular temporary exhibitions such as Greenwich's 35-metre high inverted Electricity Pylon and Covent Garden’s ‘Floating House’ from 2014. These, alongside the Christmas Tree surrounded by ice in King’s Cross, gathered over a million visitors. Check out photos of the impressive tree in our story about it here: Alex Chinneck’s giant ice cube tree at King’s Cross.
‘Six Pins and Half a Dozen Needles’ stays true to Alex’s previous work. It is equally sensational and also relies on its environment to be understood. The installation completes the old Harper Collins building in Assembly London, Hammersmith. Raising 20 metres above ground level and made of 4,000 bricks and over a 1,000 stainless steel components, it resembles a torn sheet of paper, evoking the building’s history. The work’s dependency on its environment creates a theatrical background which animates the project. Take the piece outside of Assembly London and it will lose its impact.
The monumental installation is the result of a 14 month long collaboration between engineers, steelworkers, brickmakers and the artist’s team. Alex’s work enabled different sectors of the British industry to be involved and created an interesting dynamic by allowing them to become part of British art. The mix of art, architecture and engineering contributed to making the project appealing to viewers. It offers a fascinating combination of surrealism and spectacle which makes for an intriguing and attractive sight.
Alex gave the work a “cartoon-like quality”, wishing to create an “endearing artifice with a playful personality”. He hopes ‘Six Pins and Half a Dozen Needles’ will be able to “engage people in a fun and uplifting way”. His desire has always been to create “accessible artwork” and to see the project become a “popular landmark for London, and a positive experience for Londoners”.
It’s located in Assembly London, a major mixed-use campus comprising four buildings totalling 220,000 square feet developed by AXA Investment Management - Real Assets.
Commenting on the commission, Henry Badham from AXA Investment Management, says that “art is integral” to the development of Assembly London and thanked Alex for “creating this thought provoking installation which is accessible to everybody and will hopefully raise smiles and questions alike.”
Alex’s next work is bound to be no-less ambitious. He is currently working on a trail of four sculptures with a combined height of 163 metres, which will be constructed from 100,000 bricks. Sign up to Alex’s newsletter to read about the project’s development.
Alex’s ‘Six Pins and Half a Dozen Needles’ is a permanent installation and can be viewed at Assembly London.