Ruud Reutelingsperger says: Although the Olympic Parc is very well made it is also a paradoxal situation. Anish Kapoor’s work aims at the stars. The park itself is part of a large urban development where there seems to be no room for the past. Somehow it feels that world is disconnected and one needs to create some connection between the past and the future, between the water and the stars, between design and crafts, the level of the park and the level of the water etc. The place itself is also split in two by the mirror bridge. So we wanted to show, in one gesture, that the world is disconnected but there is a way to connect these worlds. A split house that, if one wants too, can be put together and bring something back of the former social life around a lock but in a ‚new coat’ as they say in Dutch. I met an old carpenter that worked here and who still lives here; said something like; I’ve been looking at you while you were building it and it became more and more interesting. It started to trigger my imagination. Then I saw the way you constructed it and I was tempted to come and help you with it. Now that it is up I hope it can stay here much longer.
More info on www.newtonscottage.org.
Visiting two functioning locks in five minutes walking distance from the Olympic Park, the Dutch Artist Collective Observatorium saw that these locks have a significant social function: people interact, meet, sit down and observe one another. The atmosphere is quiet and the locks are well maintained. Boat people are in a way co-owners of the locks as many of the locks nowadays are unmanned. The idea that the site belongs to somebody and you can still enter somebody’s territory makes ‚a space turn into a place!'
The history of Carpenters Road Lock and its past as an industrial area for timber is fairy tale of technology rising, declining and being reborn. It is a story of workmen and transport, of tidal protection and industry, of progress and loss. At the moment, historic awareness and the efforts to restore the lock, focus is on technology and restoring the link with the canal and waterway system. In the future it will be a lively space where park visitors watch the boaters. Meeting, interacting and observing will certainly happen and it will be a great asset of the park. So the story will have a happy ending when the Canal and River Trust can reach their aims, return Carpenters Road Lock to full navigation, provide training opportunities for local people, create a new centrepiece waterside destination for surrounding local communities and millions of visitors, etc.
What if the temporary artwork supports this ambitious scheme? How can we anticipate the happy end of the fairy tale and already now contribute to it? Could the temporary artwork also be a centrepiece destination and provide training and connect people? Seeing the success of the locks nearby, we asked ourselves: Where is the lock keeper when the lock is technically operational? Why is the lock keepers cottage not an integral part of the restoration? Could the artwork provide facilities for engineers and constructors, for boaters and park visitors? Our answer is the return of the lock keepers cottage of Carpenters Road Lock; we propose to construct a wooden frame, outlining the architecture that stood from 1935 till 1967.
The frame towers over the lock and the mirror bridges and is visible across large areas of the park. It attracts the visitors to the site and into the bowl around the lock. The passer-by on the middle bridge will even walk through it! The scale of the sculpture will tie the different elements of the site - bridges, lock, steps and gabions - together and will constitute an exciting backdrop for events. It will connect the different layers of the landscape: water level, quay level, park level and even further up to the Orbit observation deck, from where it also will be visible as an elegant line drawing.
The QEOP is part of a very large urban development. Within this world of transition we feel there should be time and space to focus attention on the world we live in. Constant movement and building also asks for moments of standstill where one can experience the light, smell and sound of the place. Water and timber have this specific smell, light and sound. That is also why Newton’s Cottage is made in a traditional manner.
The return of the lock keepers cottage symbolizes the appreciation for the history of the canals, locks and waterways, it could support the awareness for the coming restoration. It anticipates (and could support) the creation of a quiet site for people interacting, people meeting and observing other people. We believe the temporary sculpture lock keepers cottage will trigger the imagination, tell an important part of the story of the site and add to the interaction of the local and the global.
The artwork is called after C. Newton, the last lock keeper of Carpenters Road Lock. Another Newton - a scientist - told us about action and reaction, motion and acceleration, force and mass; things we constantly are able to observe closely when sitting at a lock.
Newton Cottage consists of pre-cut beams and is asssembled on site. The wood is prepared by a Dutch carpenter in the far east of the Netherlands. Transported to the QEOP and there assembled with the help of students of the Building and Crafts College.
Ruud Reutelingsperger says: Although the Olympic Parc is very well made it is also a paradoxal situation. Anish Kapoor’s work aims at the stars. The park itself is part of a large urban development where there seems to be no room for the past. Somehow it feels that world is disconnected and one needs to create some connection between the past and the future, between the water and the stars, between design and crafts, the level of the park and the level of the water etc. The place itself...
- Year 2014
- Work finished in 2014
- Main structure Wood
- Client London Legacy Development Corporation
- Status Temporary works
- Type Exhibitions /Installations