Tag Archives: public art

When is a tree not a tree?


Sometimes the best way to see something – is to see it differently. Thanks to Christo and his project Wrapped Trees, Fondation Beyeler and Berower Park, Riehen, Switzerland 1997-98    the humble tree can be seen more clearly as part of the three dimensional compositon of space. The exaggerated sense of presence wrapping the tree affords gives a greater sense of volume, solid and void and perspective to the overall scene.

And this is an art work that the viewer inhabits, experiences first hand and interacts with as the hours of the day colour it slightly differently. Time to reflect on our place in the world … [ http://rainfromthesky.blogspot.com/2009/03/trees-were-sculpture-without-their.html ]

Post-modern Garden of Eden

Post-modern Garden of Eden

Originally uploaded by allspice1

Christine writes that:

Claus Emmeche and Steven Sampson in ‘The Garden Machine’ describe the effect of Postmodernism on art and architecture (p59);

“Today’s postmodern art and architecture also transcend the modern idea of the creating artistic subject, who in a sovereign fashion generates originals by natural creativity (art as ‘poiesis’). Instead art becomes a simulation where copies enter into a combination of significations that are actually not new, but which respresent small games that can be transmitted onwards in a time infinity of circulating signs….these metaphorical demands on the image are dissolved in a series of rituals that organises the continued simulation of art in the universal media of mass society.”

While there is an overriding sense that the ‘original’ has been lost in the overwhelming proliferation of the simulacrum: this is not necessarily true.

Australian architect Richard Francis Thorpe has an interesting analysis of the problems of Post Modernism in design in his article ‘The [im]possibility of slowness’ in UME Magazine. http://www.umemagazine.com/scrollSpreads.aspx.

Public Art in Barking Town Square

Public art bounds Barking Town Square

Nothwithstanding our criticism of the urban design of Barking Town Square, Muf deserve an award for an excellent piece of public art on the northeast side of the Square. Muf state that ‘The folly screens the flank wall of Iceland supermarket and makes the fourth elevation to the town square. The folly is comprised of architectural salvage and recovers the texture of lost historic fabric of the town centre; it stands as a mementomori to this current cycle of regeneration.’

Unlike the usual ‘Turd in the Plaza’ approach to public art, this wall:

(1) serves an urban design objective by enclosing the space

(2) picks up on the historic context of Barking

(3) pleases the eye without being attention-seeking

I wish we could have more context-sensitive public art.