Alex Chinneck puts a surreal spin on an everyday spiral staircase
Alex Chinneck's latest work sees the architectural artist reveal what he calls his most complex and ambitious sculpture to date: a spiral staircase that has a surreal twist and appears to be bursting apart as it climbs the side of a building.
The project is officially titled A Spring in your step and represents Chinneck's 11th major artwork in eight years. It was commissioned by developers U+I and will remain in place in Brighton, England, for the foreseeable future.
The sculpture is attached to the facade of a brick building in a newly developed neighborhood and consists of a staircase that starts off ordinarily enough, but then pushes apart as it rises. Its overall form reaches a total height of 25 m (82 ft) and its upper area consists of three parts that are arranged into a non-repeating helical form that branch off towards the top.
Understandably, Chinneck doesn't like going into detail about every step of creating his artworks for fear of ruining the mystery, though he does tell us that it was made using galvanized steel, weighs 4 tonnes (4.48 US tons), and took three years to realize.
"The artwork was conceived in direct response to the location and seeks to contribute to the energetic creative atmosphere envisaged for it," says Chinneck's press release. "A Spring in your step transforms an ordinary staircase into an extraordinary sculpture. Following the form of a spiral staircase at its base, the structure 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."
Adding a strange and playful twist on boring everyday buildings and objects is a theme that runs strongly throughout Chinneck's body of work, as demonstrated by works such as Open to the public and A pound of flesh for 50p.
Source: Alex Chinneck