Aleksandra Mir

Drowning London

LONDON—In 2006 I proposed a project on climate change to the South Bank Centre. The work would be situated along a stretch of the riverbank and be drowned and revealed by the tide twice daily. In 2007 I was given an R&D commission by the production company Artichoke to explore the history and architecture of 9 chosen landmark structures, from St. Paul’s Cathedral, the oldest, to City Hall, the youngest. Sourcing the original architectural drawings brought me all over London, from Charles Barry's watercolor drafts of the Palace of Westminster held at the V&A to the CAD designs of the London Eye and its offices. These precise designs were then synthesised to simple forms and interpreted uniquely, each one in a different material and technique. I used plastics, metals and drift wood, stained glass collected from the Thames riverbed and cast milk bottle caps in 24K Gold. As the public work was eventually abandoned, these scale models remain as sculptures, the last one completed in 2013. To complete the process, Jarka Hrnčárková, a Photoshop artist in Prague illustrated the imagined scenario with the spectacular image above.