gill moore photography

Archive for the 'Architecture' Category

British Airways commission art for Terminal 5 @ Heathrow Airport

All I know about Heathrow’s Terminal 5 is that the launch earlier this year was a total and utter disaster as far as British Airways reputation is concerned. But amongst all the doom and gloom it appears some glimmers of light sneaked in there too!

I have the “plush patterns” blog to thank for my discovery of Christopher Pearson’s work. He was commissioned by BA through Artwise Curators (who coincidentally handled a recent commission for Idris Khan who I blogged about a few weeks ago) along with three other emerging artists to create some site specific art works for Terminal 5.

The installation is certainly an eye-catcher and consists of Pearson’s wonderful studies of the Growing Cycles of the English Oak Tree which were etched into 3 pairs of huge glass panels and now stand in the First Class Galleries Lounge. Each pane is illuminated to reveal the delicate strokes of the original design and it vividly brings the work to life. His website reveals an artist open to experimenting with new technology and innovative methods for displaying and creating forms of art. One to watch for sure and serves as a reminder that artistic work can often by enhanced by careful consideration of how it is displayed.

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Creative Studio sharing … a Danish example but it needs a green roof!

Maybe one day I will dabble in a bit of studio sharing. I often think it sounds like a stimulating and fun environment to work within, different creative skillsets all housed in one building with the possibility of collaboration plus the practical benefits of sharing facilities. Whilst savouring the wonderful design work on the bloesem site, I discovered a successful creative workspace enterprise called ‘Lynfabrikken’ (the lightning factory) based in Denmark.
I suppose the closest thing we have here in Manchester would be The Craft and Design Centre but it rents out only small units and does not have the space to attract photographers/musicians/film-makers. Maybe Islington Mill has the potential to grow into something bigger, though the Danish example seems to have a more central location and therefore the ability to morph itself into trendy cafe, place to be seen plus a gallery and performance venue. Lynfabrikken is open to the public with opportunities to buy and view unique work and provides a meeting spot for all the creative tenants and their clients.
I shall carry on with my idealised daydream for the Perfect Studio ….
Of course it would have to utilise all roof space, maybe a green living roof similar to the Unicorn Grocery roof project in Chorlton, their site has a live web-cam (you can actually control the camera movements!).
The Unicorn scheme provides a green escape for their employees and was designed specifically to attract the rare black redstart, a bird happy in the urban environment but rapidly disappearing from the UK. There have been reports of at least one breeding pair of these birds this summer in the centre of Manchester (near the CIS building) so maybe they will wing their way over to Unicorn one day soon.

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Editors cover “An End Has A Start” photography by Idris Khan research from sleevage.com website


The days of purring over sleeve artwork are probably long gone for most music buyers nowadays but a good cover can still play a key part in packaging, branding and marketing a band. Over recent times a cover which consistently caught my eye was the Editors “The End has a Start” I don’t quite know why, but I liked the colours and the image and so I decided to investigate a little more.

There is a fantastic website (Australian in origin I believe) which made my task a whole lot easier. Sleevage.com is a fantastic resource which started a year ago and it delights in record sleeve art. Any interesting cover (new or old) can be put forward and the origin of the image or design is discussed with intelligence and insight. If you really love your music there is the opportunity to suggest and submit your own review, in return you can get your hands on free CD’s and gig tickets.

Luckily, the Editors cover was discussed in staggering detail by Ash at Sleevage only a few months ago. For me, the image on the front cover evokes memories of an industrialized area just on the edge of city centre Manchester near the Velodrome where huge gas storage structures tower over terraced houses. For the reviewer at Sleevage it looked like it could be a stadium or a racetrack and just goes to show that what we see is in the eye of the beholder.

The photography is by Idris Khan a controversial UK artist who uses other peoples images to build up multi-layers until a “new” piece is created. I use the word controversial as he has created a bit of a stir due his actual source material being other artists’ work, which raises many questions as regards authorship, originality and copyright. (see also Richard Prince’s work). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Prince

The cover shot was created by Khan using a series of images taken by Bernd and Hilla Becher, they were a German husband and wife artistic team who began working in the late 50’s their work often featured the industrial structures which surrounded them. (Bernd Becher sadly died last year and his obituary can be found here).

Whatever the rights and wrongs, I do find Idris Khan’s work haunting and rather beautiful. The strongest images are those which have the central spine and linear core provided by buildings. On this work the architectural symmetry allows the layers to blossom and creates a real atmosphere and feel that works ‘with’ rather than ‘against’ the originals.

 

“it’s obviously not about re-photographing the photographs to make exact copies, but to intervene and bring a spectrum of feelings – warmth, humour, anxiety – to what might otherwise be considered cool aloof image. Idris Khan.

 

In 2004 he scanned all 1,953 pages of the Koran to create what he believes is his best piece. He discusses this project in a Guardian interview here.

Now I’m off back to Sleevage.com to check out that “Nevermind” cover for Nirvana …

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