Thomas Heatherwick

Another artist we were told to have a look at was Thomas Heatherwick, who – in my opinion – seems to very different from the Junkman of Africa. While, yes, he uses materials and objects all around him, Heatherwick doesn’t seem to create his artwork from what others would consider as used items or rubbish; instead, he uses the architecture around him and his knowledge of engineering to produce his art, items that appear more polished and of “more use” than the found objects Dilomprizulike has to produce his sculptures and installations. Well, that’s my personal opinion anyway. When researching these two, I felt such a contrast that made their works so distinguishable – from the carefully modelled city to the haphazard mounds of a junkyard.

Pretty much everyone this summer saw one of Thomas Heatherwick’s works of art, whether they realised it or not; he was the designer behind the London 2012 Olympic cauldron, where 204 metallic “petals” were brought together to create one enormous lantern. Realising that was his design during my initial research, I became instantly fascinated with what else he had produced. I wasn’t disappointed! Using the structures and everyday objects of a town or city and turning them into sculptures that has so much design put into them has genuinely piqued my interest in this project. Making a den out of found items doesn’t have to be “unclean”! It’s made me realise that something I could do with my own work is to utilise the studio space that I have at college, much as Heatherwick utilises the cities he produces his work with, and make it work for me without all the fuss of jumping into skips and touching items that could prove…well…distressful to me (I know, it sounds melodramatic! But, that’s the annoying thing about this condition.).

I also came across what would probably be a perfect example of what might be expected of me in terms of thinking how to recycle items into something very different for the den – Thomas Heatherwick used traffic cones to create a sort of canopy for the entrance to the V&A Museum, painted white and hung upside down as though they were decorative spikes.


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