22 May, 2019
'Reeds' artwork at Sugar House Island
We asked Rachel, Artist in Residence, to tell us a bit about her artwork 'Reeds'.
"I was commissioned by Vastint UK to create a meanwhile artwork on some hoardings overlooking the River Lea. These were being put up around the southern part of Sugar House Island opposite the historic Three Mills because the team were creating a temporary car park for their mooring community. I was asked to come up with an artwork which responded to its context and connected into the area’s heritage as a place of innovation and manufacture.
I spent time walking along the River Lea, getting to know the area. I also went through the extensive research the team had undertaken into the site’s history. I was struck by how interesting Dane’s Yard is as a place of ink and paint manufacture, and that, along with the calm and beautiful place the River Lea has now become, got me thinking….
I decided to reflect the reeds, which grow opposite, onto the hoardings. I spent a while exploring methods and fixed on the idea of a stencil, to connect to the site’s history in printing and to allow a large graphic element to become a pattern-shadow along the 50m length which in turn allowed me to play with colour and light and reflections the way that the water does.
And while I was doing all this, a talented film maker was with me documenting the journey of the artpiece. I love the film she’s made because it’s so peaceful, and the mood reminds me of the time spent painting the artwork in the warehouse. It traces the thoughts I had along the way.
Vastint UK has had some amazing artists already associated with Sugar House Island. From Assemble who had a studio here while it was warehouses to the many artists Acme brought to the site. It’s wonderful to be in such esteemed company. I am now working as Artist in residence helping create the look and feel for the show apartments which is a fascinating project, I enjoy finding a balance between ‘art’ and ‘commercial'."
Watch the full film by Cecilia Tyrell here.
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