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Alex Chinneck's Temporary Artwork

The Upside Down House


After discovering a house in Blackfriars Road built entirely upside down, I just had to find out what it was all about. Everything was upside down including the T.V aerial, for sale sign, drain-pipe, window ledges, doors and the shop front at the side. I looked for a door to get inside without having any success, but I did find a Polish workman cutting down a tree in the courtyard behind, who had no idea what on earth I was going on about. I took him into Blackfriars Road to show him and he became truly amazed himself. I went around the corner to the Mad Hatters Hotel, thinking it might have something to do with them, they also knew nothing. When I came back outside the Polish workman was across the road taking pictures himself with his own mobile phone! He said he didnít believe his own eyes. The curiosity turned out to be a work of art created by 29-year-old artist Alex Chinneck, which was the first time I had heard of this street artist. This work forms part of Londonís annual Merge Festival which showcases art and music on Bankside. Next time you are passing 20 Blackfriars Road, do take a good look but donít worry you are not seeing things!

Take my lightening but donít steal my thunder

Another Alex Chinneckís artwork which was only temporary; ďTake my lightening but donít steal my thunderĒ is a large optical illusion created to blend in with other buildings surrounding Covent Gardenís Piazza. It all started with a concept and once Alex had the idea he had to work out how it would work, or even if it was at all possible. Everything is designed around weight but also ascetic and to make the shell as light as possible it was all carved from polystyrene and coated with Jasminite, which makes it feel and looks like stone, but is lightweight.

It was installed over four days, with bits put together like a neat fitting jigsaw. It took about ten articulated Lorries with all the pieces packed down, with the problems of delivering to this busy area of London.

A pound of Flesh for 50p

Another temporary work from Alex Chinneckís ďa pound of flesh for 50pĒ - started life as a two-story building made from 8,000 wax bricks with a total lifespan of just 30 days before it has melted to the ground. The bricks were soon beginning to drip and the building was starting to warp, with just a week or so to go before it had totally collapsed leaving just the roof on the ground in a pile of melted wax.

The bricks are cast in paraffin wax in the beds of terracotta sand, matching the colour, coarse surface and irregularity of a real wall. This project celebrates the history of an old candle making factory which was based close by a couple of centuries ago. The installation mirrors the scale, design and scenery of an archetypal property. Alex Chinneck is certainly making his name in London Street Art.
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