Thursday, 26 June 2008
Hackney Wick Henge
I've just come back from the question & answer session with John Frankland - the artist who is planting the massive rock in Mabley Green.
Well - a couple of things: I don't really get the ART part of it all. It's just a rock on the lawn. And - it's not actually going to look like the leaflet Hackney Council have given out - actually it's going to look a lot different.
But the good news is that it's BIG - and that we can do anything we want with it!
Some of the excellent team at Mile End Climbing Wall (http://www.mileendwall.org.uk/) are going to put climbing hoops on the top - so that we can use ropes to climb it!
And as we've already discussed (http://leabanksquare.blogspot.com/2008/06/mabley-green-boulder-by-john-frankland.html) - some of the people here in Leabank Square want to use it as an alternative solstice stone (instead of Stonehenge), some are going to have wedding, birthday, family celebration photo shoots at it, of course most of the kids are going to use it for footie target practice (pity there couldn't be two to make goals!), we are going to tie a massive red ribbon around it for World Aids Day (December 1st), we are also going to attempt a maypole dance around it on May 1st (although the artists impression rock looked better to do it with) - and then - of course - we are going to climb it!!
At least there is some positive spirit here in Leabank Square - there were a few grumpy residents from surrounding estates who were not too pleased to have such an amazing landmark in our local park!
But - unfortunately - I was unable to find out how much of the £1 million that REAP promised us - was being used on this rock. There was no REAP person there (plus some health & safety fan was hogging the time) - but as promised - I'll try & find out how much of our money for local improvements is being used.
Aaaaaaaanyway - it was great to meet John - even if I didn't get the art part. It's really amazing that such a well respected & admired artist is choosing Hackney Wick to site his work.
PS: I found out that the rock took out a £51 000 chunk of the REAP grant. Whether that's cheap or expensive for art at the moment - I have no idea! Whether it cheap or expensive for quarrying a large rock & transporting it from Cornwall to Hackney Wick - again - no idea! Weather Hackney Wick could have had something better for the money? Plenty ideas!!!
PSS: I am one of the worlds luckiest fellas in that I have a truly inspirational friend in Tom Cook (http://www.tom-cook.com/) - a wonderful human & artist. I had a cup of coffee with him yesterday and asked him to help me understand the 'art' in this rock.
You know what - I sort of get it now.
Tom's take (if I got this right) - is that John Frankland is actually a 'facilitator' of art - rather than an actual artist. He is gifting an object for us to use in any way we want to in the 'name' of art - but the art is what we actually do with it!
Anyway - thanks Tom - I hope I haven't misinterpreted what you said - feel free to correct me by commenting - and thanks for the chat!