Poetic paving stones are among a selection of new public artworks going on display at British Land’s Regent’s Place in central London. The concrete slabs engraved with poetry and created by Chelsea College of Art and Design student Emma Hunter will join a film by fellow student Ami Kanki playfully looking at how the public interact with art.
The works by the Chelsea College students, part of University of the Arts London, are the result of a British Land competition to create an original artwork for the site. The winning works were selected for the way they integrate artworks and architecture at the Euston Road site with the public and local community.
Ami Kanki’s film Regent’s Place Museum investigates how the public engage with the artworks already on site. Despite the outside setting, passers-by tend to treat the artworks as if they were in a museum; looking for clues as to how much participation is allowed. The film shows Kanki playfully testing the rules surrounding interaction with the artworks, placing knitted hats on Antony Gormley’s figurative sculptures and consequently turning the site’s security guards into characters in the film itself.
Called Set in Stone, Emma Hunter’s paving slabs are inscribed with poems composed by teenagers from Samual-Lithgow Youth Club in West Euston. She was keen for the work to involve the surrounding community and bring something from local young people into what is largely a corporate space, allowing them to feel an increased sense of ownership. Set into the very ground beneath which visitors walk, the poems quietly provide a private escape into the imaginations of the passer-by without disturbing the existing architecture.
James Danby, Director of London Leasing at British Land said “The creation of a fun and attractive environment that people can work, shop and live has been a priority for Regent’s Place. Public art enhances the communal areas of the estate and provides both members of the public and occupiers a chance to sit and reflect during their busy days. The addition of these exciting new pieces of art will complement our existing collection on the estate including pieces from Antony Gormley, Julian Opie.”
Set in Stone and Regents Place Museum will take up residence at Regent’s Place until the end of the year. The competition was set up by property developers British Land to nurture new undiscovered talent from the MA Interior and Spatial Design course at Chelsea College of Art and Design, University of the Arts London, and to further enhance the Regent’s Place estate.