I put in a proposal for the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad this morning which is a huge Arts Council project to build up to 12 art works which celebrate the Olympic ideals and UK sport. The commissions are for …wait for it….£500,000 but anyone could apply. At this stage they are looking for brief ideas which will be awarded £5000 to be worked up into a full scale proposal. Here are my application images and text:
My proposal is a piece of art made of athletes.
Three sculptures would model the space passed through by athletes in three Olympic events; 100m sprint, shot put and high jump. These would be grouped together in a park where the public could experience the magnitude of these events in close up. This is something I think we miss watching sport on the television.
The 100m sprint sculpture would be 100m long, life-size in full colour. The track would be marked in seconds allowing the public to measure themselves against Olympic athletes – every stride of the athlete frozen in time. They would be able to follow the bounding approach of the high jumper and then walk underneath the arch of the jump, which is something I’ve always wanted to do. The huge effort involved in throwing a 7kg weight over 20m would be captured in the third sculpture.
I have chosen these events to represent the three main strands of track athletics; running, jumping and throwing. The images I have provided are of a young girl, but I would like to model British record holding athletes for each of the events. It is important to me to show exactly how incredible the efforts of these sports men and women are.
These ideas have developed from my work in Long Exposure sculpture carried out at Camberwell College of Arts. The action is videoed and then closely modelled in 3d software. My sculptures are then hand made from cardboard layers and papier-mache, and I’ve provided an image to give you an idea of how fascinating it is to see motion broken down into parts. Of course the Olympic sculptures would have to be cast in something more durable, possibly fibreglass, to withstand the knocks and bruises of a British park. There are several UK companies who are experts in creating full colour large-scale models of this kind.
The location I have chosen is Crystal Palace Park, I can see the broadcast tower from my window. Not only does this have an excellent National Sports Centre and plenty of space to install the sculptures, but just nearby are the Crystal Palace fibreglass dinosaurs, which like my sculptures are also frozen in time.
I think this proposal would be a great challenge to make, and result in work which the public could really engage with, bringing art and sport closer together.