A programme of art, architecture and infrastructure to mark the centenary of the UK’s biggest council housing estate
Artist Eva Rothschild will create two sculptural pyramid forms as unique play structures. They will be new community landmarks in Becontree, drawing on her own childhood landmark stone pyramid at Killiney Hill in Ireland, which Eva climbed as a child and revisits often with her own family.
The pyramid in Killiney has been sometimes referred to as a ‘Wishing Stone’ – the wish coming true when one climbs the uppermost pinnacle and makes the wish. This sense of imagination, interaction and magic is central to Eva’s new play structures in Becontree.
Parsloes Memphis will be made up of vibrantly coloured geometric cubes. The colours draw from Eva’s own palette and the vibrant colours of the Memphis Group, designers from Italy, active in the 1980s. Eva has a particular interest in the work of the group’s founder, Ettore Sottass, who explored the social and cultural implications of architecture and design on the way people live. She says of the new playground for Becontree, ‘Sculpture as a playground should be activated through the body, through movement, irreverence, imagination and joy.’
Studio Wayne McGregor will collaborate with Eva to develop an engagement programme to sit alongside the new playground. A group of young men from the local area will work with the studio to create a performance piece and film that will explore themes of play, ownership and identity and how older teenagers use and are perceived to use play structures designed with younger people in mind.
Eva Rothschild has achieved international acclaim for her practice which involves both conceptual and socio-political ideas alongside traditional approaches to making sculpture. Her sculptures are often reminiscent of minimalist sculpture, in that it is assertive, formal and chromatic. However, she shifts this Minimalist register of her pieces by including materials that hold specific associations, such as leather fringing and Perspex as well as surprising objects such as crystal balls and posters.
Studio Wayne McGregor is the creative engine for choreographer and director Wayne McGregor CBE, and the home of his life-long enquiry into physical intelligence. The studio exists to support this inquiry, designing, developing, and delivering innovative projects that challenge and explore the edges of where the body, mind, and technology intersect.