Postbox010 Assembly Bristol Alex Chinneck website

Assembly Bristol reveals post box tied in a knot by acclaimed British sculptor Alex Chinneck

A traditional British post box tied in a knot by British artist Alex Chinneck has appeared at Assembly Bristol.

The playful artwork first appeared overnight in three towns and cities around the UK, as part of a temporary, multi-site installation in 2019. Cast in metal and painted pillar box red, the sculpture is designed to closely resemble a traditional British post box but with a playful twist.

The arrival of the sculpture in Bristol as a permanent artwork, in the heart of the Assembly Bristol complex, is designed to enhance the new and improved pedestrian links between the city centre and Temple Meads Station provided by the development. The sculpture’s presence coincides with the opening of Cheese Lane, the first time in 50 years that the lane has been open as a public right of way.

The post box has been conceived as a playful addition to the streetscape that transforms a familiar and functional feature of the public realm into a surreal and surprising landmark. Seen from a distance it will help draw visitors into and through the site. Up close, it provides opportunities for playful engagement. The post box is also a hint to some completely new sculptures designed to arrive on site later this year.

Red pillar post boxes are an icon of British design, recognised throughout the world. Their ubiquity, shape and colour help create a quintessentially British landscape. No variation to their design is allowed, except in very exceptional circumstances.

Chinneck’s playful reimagining of the post box continues his track record for creating surreal sculptures and public artworks that disrupt the world around us. Over the last 10 years, he has realised a succession of major public artworks, that have established his reputation as “art’s master illusionist”.

The artist uses simple, playful narratives to weave fantasy into everyday scenes. He has made bricks melt, stone hover, and four storey buildings bend and unzip. His work is highly accessible and engages a global audience. Previous projects include landmark commissions for London Design Festival, Milan Design Week, and Assembly London.

Positioned on a wide section of pavement outside of Assembly’s Building C, it is hoped the building will become a local landmark, and the first of several pieces of public art at Assembly Bristol.

Image credit: Assembly Bristol | Alex Chinneck.

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