For one day only, – Sunday, today, you can see the city barricaded off. By tomorrow, it’ll be gone. It’s part of the Litmus series of One Day Sculpture, and this time has been brought to you by artiste duo Heather and Ivan Morison. It’s called the Journee des Barricades, and to me, seems site specifically reacting to the inspired sculpture outside the Athfield renovation of the old State Insurance Building, where discarded columns and lettering litter the street. If you didn’t get to see it during the day, sneak down tonight, as I have a feeling that it may be resident and spotlit until midnight.
From the front it is very fluid and the bicycle remnants flow down in smooth slope to the ground – an avalanche or perhaps more of a glacier of detritus.
From the rear however it is more static – more barrier and barricade, more urban jungle frontline than urban throwaway society. From the rear it looks as though the entire street could be full: however, the back of the blue bus gives it away that the depth is actually quite slim (can I have the bus when you’ve finished? It’ll save you taking it back to the dump…)
But it’s good to see that more giant scale street art comes to the capital. A previous work by the Morisons apparently was a truck full of flowers breached on its side in the road, flowers strewn across the road (“I lost her Fantasy Island. Life has not been the same”). It reminded me a little of the large scale public artworks that have been taking place in Europe recently, such as the giant spider coming alive in Liverpool in September. Yes, I agree that a giant 40 foot high mechanical spider has more pulling power than a street barricade, but the success in people terms also relates how well it is publicised. Ideally: more publicity before the event, rather than after….