Client: Culture Mile (City of London)
Location: London, United Kingdom
Completion date: 2018
Artwork budget: $600,000
Brutalist Tapestry is a kinetic and interactive installation in Beech Street Tunnel, inspired by the hand-crafted concrete finish of the Barbican Estate. The artwork replaces a 21-metre section of panels on the south side of Beech Street Tunnel with a programmable ‘tapestry’ of analogue pixels.
The artwork incorporates three moving electronic arms, to physically alter the position of the pixels and gradually reveal Culture Mile generated patterns and designs to passers-by. The pixels use the existing colour pallet of Beech Street to subvert the tunnel wall and create an alternative narrative for Beech Street.
Brutalist Tapestry is part of a long-term vision, instigated by the City of London and implemented by Culture Mile, to transform the area around Beech Street. The ambition is to change perceptions as today many people consider the area highly corporate when in fact it houses a number of London's largest cultural institutions including the Barbican and the Museum of London. Brutalist Tapestry acts as a catalyst, showing opportunity for this currently highly polluted through-route to become a destination for art and culture. The design of the moving pixels is a reference to the bush-hammering process that was used to create the distinctive Barbican Estate concrete textures. Brutalist Tapestry celebrates the rich architectural heritage in the area while providing inspiration for the future.
Jason Bruges Studio worked closely with Culture Mile to understand their ambitions for the project and developed programme of frequent meetings and project reviews. The client was very involved in the design process, providing feedback at regular intervals which then fed back into the development of the artwork.