British artist Alex Chinneck bends a giant spiral staircase against a building in Brighton
British artist Alex Chinneck has today unveiled his most complex and ambitious sculpture to date in Brighton. Titled, a Spring in Your Step, the new artwork takes the form of a spiral staircase spectacularly springing apart in three directions across the facade of a building in Circus Street, a new neighbourhood of the city.
Celebrated as a "master of architectural illusion", Alex Chinneck has so far unzipped buildings, tied up post-boxes and even parked cars upside down.
His latest, a 25-metre high spiralling staircase, is made from galvanised steel and occupies the full height of a building at the heart of the square in Circus Street, creating a bold backdrop for the new event space.
An extraordinary sculpture, it follows the form of a spiral staircase at its base but then uncoils as it rises upwards and outwards over Circus Street's central courtyard. Its three steel ribbons burst apart with sculptural energy, introducing movement into the volume above the courtyard while helping to animate and enliven the space below. It's complex yet playful: a characteristic of the artist's work.
"It took three years to complete, weighs four tonnes, is 25 metres tall, and follows a non-repeating, expanding and contracting helical form, making it my most complex sculpture to date," says Chinneck of his work.
Best known for creating ambitious public sculptures on an architectural scale, Chinneck has previously been invited to create flagship projects for London Design Festival and Milan Design Week. Past projects include a sliding house in Margate; a hovering stone building on Covent Garden Piazza; an inverted electricity pylon on Greenwich Peninsula; and an unzipping building in Milan.
He has an innate ability to combine art, design and architecture in ways that challenge our understanding of familiar objects and materials to create surreal sculptures that transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. See more of his recent works at alexchinneck.com.