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Covent Garden Creative Drum News

British artist Alex Chinneck to make Covent Garden's Market Building appear to hover 10 feet off the ground as part of art installation


By Gillian West | Social media manager

August 28, 2014 | 2 min read

British artist Alex Chinneck, known for his playfully visual, large-scale artworks, is joining the ranks of Jeff Koons, Damien Hisrt, Banksy and Sam Taylor-Johnson by having his work displayed at London’s Covent Garden this October.

Chinneck’s new installation ‘Take my Lightning but Don’t Steal my Thunder’ will see a section of the Market Building magically levitate over the Piazza, combining art, architecture and theatre design.

Inspired by the neighbourhood’s performance culture, Chinneck and his team will conjure the illusion that the 40-foot-long building has broken from its stone base and floated over 10 feet into the air.

“My objective is to create an accessible artwork that makes a harmonious but breath-taking contribution to its historic surroundings, leaving a lasting and positive impression upon the cultural landscape of Covent Garden and in the minds of its many visitors”, said Chinneck. “The hovering building introduces contemporary art to traditional architecture, performing a magic trick of spectacular scale to present the everyday world in an extraordinary way.”

The installation will mimic the scale, materials and detailing of the surrounding architecture, referencing landmarks including Covent Garden’s Market Building, the Piazza and Indigo Jones’ St Paul’s Church. The construction will take a team of over 50 professionals, such as consultants and tradesmen with engineering and construction taking three months to craft, paint and construct.

Beverly Churchill, creative director of Capco Covent Garden, commented: “Over the years, we have hosted some truly awe-inspiring artworks in Covent Garden. The Piazza is a unique canvas in London, an ever-changing open air gallery with a daily captive audience of tens of thousands. Alex’s new work is perhaps our most ambitious commission to date, and will see the area’s familiar architecture reimagined with a touch of magic.”

Through the project’s run – 2 until 24 October – a series of screenings will take place against the backdrop of the installation, inspired by the historic neighbourhood. Chinneck will also host a series of talks in association with the Royal British Society of Sculptors.

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