Grimsey, Tom (2007) Two Spinneys Groundwork, Corby, UK.
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The 'Two Spinneys' public art project builds on 20 years of experience of making public sculpture and extends Grimsey’s collaborative research practice. Located in the 1960s newtown of Corby and following a national competition, sponsored by Corus Steel; Grimsey was commissioned by Groundwork, Northamptonshire: 'to make a work that activates and gives identity to the wide-open spaces of a previously run down and dangerous park close to the town centre'. Originally known for its ironstone quarry and its steelworks, Corby now has the highest proportions of ASBOs per capita in the UK and is somewhat isolated as the largest town without a rail connection. Grimsey’s project explored the historical and cultural identity of the town and the tree planting that occurred in 1916 to create a park on the former industrial site. He extended this by the creation of two new groups of stylised ‘trees’ with a dual function as sculptural objects and as robust structures for climbing. The soft pneumatic profiles are designed to withstand vandalism and are not complete without clambering youths. They are intended to function as spatial agents to socially re-orchestrate the use of the park by drawing teenagers into the open spaces to these ‘tree clusters’ and therefore away from the playground designed for younger children, and from the path and the benches where disaffected groups tend to cluster. The creation of two clusters aimed to avoid single groups or gangs from dominating any one area and to create movement between the spaces. The project will appear in the Groundwork publication Engaging Places–Creative Regeneration that will also make reference to a project Grimsey undertook as part of ‘Architecture week 07’. Grimsey will present his research at the National Public Art Conference – East Midlands in Nottingham in December 2007.
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