Hooker, Charlie (2005) Local Stars The Piazza, Gladstone Place, London, Tower Hamlets, London, UK.
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Official URL: http://artsresearch.brighton.ac.uk/research/academ...
‘Local Stars’, a permanent public sculpture, was selected as the winning submission in an open competition to design a public art installation funded by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. The selection panel included the ‘Space’ group (arts advisers, assessed and approved by London Arts and the European Regional Development Fund), local government officials, local business people and educators. The sculpture is situated outside the award-winning ‘IdeaStore’, designed by architect David Adjaye, a newly conceived public library visited weekly by over 6,000 people. Hooker’s developmental process focused on linking art, science and education, and responding to an inner-city audience through the play on the idea of ‘stars’ as both celestial and as significant personalities. Characteristic of Hooker’s oeuvre is the collaboration and communication undertaken to underpin the creative process. In this project he intentionally developed this work to catalyse collaboration between significant people and groups within the local community. Interviews and workshops were organised in schools, a local market, community centres and through Age Concern. This research provided audio recordings with people from a diverse range of ethnic backgrounds spanning four generations and talking in a variety of languages about both key personal memories concerning stars and their favourite place on earth. The unique four-part sculpture features four human-scale columns on which are fitted a series of maps of the night sky, created in phosphor bronze. The maps show summer and winter star configurations for the Northern and Southern Hemispheres and emit pinpoints of light through the bronze surfaces. Around each column are a collection of etched drawings, inspired by stars and planets, made by local school children. Set inside each column are specially-designed electronics that play back samples of the multi-lingual interviews so that individual memories and aspirations swell and fade in unison with the illuminated stars.
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