Former Bedford Modern Student and British artist Alex Chinneck recently unveiled A bullet from a shooting star, a London Design Festival Landmark Project and outdoor installation at Greenwich Peninsula. The piece takes the unconventional form of an inverted electricity pylon.
The 35-metre high structure has been designed to be seen from a distance and can be viewed from North Greenwich Station, the Emirates Airline cable car, the Thames Clipper service, Canary Wharf and all planes that fly to and from City Airport. Illuminated at night, the work acts as a literal beacon and projects a maze of latticed shadows.
Alex Chinneck’s ‘A Bullet from a shooting star’. Photo by Chris Tubbs
A bullet from a shooting star contains a combined length of 1186m of steel weighing 15 tons. There are 450 pieces of steel with more than 1,000 engineered connection points. The foundations include 25m deep piles within 120 tonnes of concrete.
Referencing the industrial history of the site which once included the largest oil and gas works in Europe and a steelworks, Alex Chinneck has created a lattice of steel, that resembles an upside down pylon, leaning at a precarious angle as though shot into the earth. The construction and materials reflect the same visual and material language of multiple structures across the Peninsula, particularly the redundant gas tower located on site while also evoking the idea of power generation and supply.
Alex commented: “Greenwich is the centre of world time, and I’m interested in the idea that the sculpture intersects the prime meridian line, acting as a giant sundial. For the London Design Festival I wanted to take on my biggest challenge to date – one that could only be realised through collaborative design and problem solving.”
To complement the external installation, NOW Gallery will house Straight jacket star jumps, a 21-metre-long curled up pylon.
Alex Chinneck’s studio has also released a limited edition screen print to accompany A bullet from a shooting star. The edition of 100 is available from www.alexchinneck.com.