Unique Sculptures Add Splash of Colour to Olympic Park Waterways

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Crayon-shaped sculptures lining the course of the Waterworks River have become the first artwork to be completed on the Olympic Park.

Unique sculptures add splash of colour to Olympic Park waterways

Unique sculptures add splash of colour to Olympic Park waterways

These sculptures stand ready to serve old functions in a new way. They connect the parkland with the river, the canal and by extension the wider world. They provide a sense of place and occasion, anchoring memories of many a good day out

Crayon-shaped sculptures lining the course of the Waterworks River have become the first artwork to be completed on the Olympic Park.

‘Steles’ by Hackney-based artist Keith Wilson, comprise a long line of 35 brightly coloured pillars rising directly from the tidal waters, made from the same durable material as navigational buoys. Images of ‘Steles’ can be downloaded.

The artworks will also serve a dual function after the Games, as mooring posts fastened to pontoons for boats along the waterway.

During the Games and in legacy, these striking pillars, which range from 3m to 5m tall, will be seen by visitors walking along the waterfront of the London 2012 Gardens in the south of the Olympic Park. Each viewpoint will offer a new combination of the five colours - blue, brown, green, orange, and red - tha quietly echo the colours of the Olympic Rings.

Simon Wright, ODA Director of Venues and Infrastructure, said: 'The ODA’s Art in the Park programme has strived to commission original and meaningful works. Keith Wilson’s colourful piece will endure and is already part of the river.

'It is part of our commitment to ensure that the Park is a great place to live, work and play for decades to come.'

Keith Wilson, ‘Steles’ artist, said: 'These sculptures stand ready to serve old functions in a new way. They connect the parkland with the river, the canal and by extension the wider world. They provide a sense of place and occasion, anchoring memories of many a good day out. These colourful totems will help create a distinctive identity for this newest and boldest of London parks.”

Andrew Altman, Chief Executive of the Olympic Park Legacy Company, said: 'These major pieces of public art will become a defining feature of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the waterways that will be enjoyed for generations to come.

'Our plans for the Olympic Park after the Games are more advanced than any other Olympic Host City, and commissions like this will help make the Park a compelling place for visitors to enjoy.'

Notes to Editors:

Keith Wilson is a London-based artist who has had significant solo exhibitions throughout the UK and received numerous international commissions. He was the Art Expert on Channel 4’s 'Big Breakfast' throughout the 1990s and series consultant on the recent BBC4 series ‘The Golden Ages of British Sculpture’.

His latest curatorial project (with Penelope Curtis, Director of Tate Britain) was Modern British Sculpture at the Royal Academy of Arts, which closed in April 2011. His major new works have been exhibited throughout 2011 as part of British Art Show 7 and he recently returned to London after an Arts Council England Oxford-Melbourne Fellowship.

Over the past 20 years Keith has taught at most of the major art schools around Britain – particularly as a tutor at London’s Royal College of Art as a senior lecturer at the University of the Arts London, and as a reader at the University of Westminster. He also sat on the boards of trustees of the Whitechapel Art Gallery and Camden Arts Centre for many years, working directly on their major refurbishment projects. He is co-founder and currently Chair of Trustees of Art House Foundation.

For further information please contact the Olympic Delivery Authority Press Office.

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