Conrad Shawcross Tapped for King’s Cross Art Installation

British artist Conrad Shawcross will create a monumental new public art installation in the heart of London, the Wellcome Trust announced on Tuesday. Titled Paradigm, the 14-meter-tall (46 feet) structure will be erected in front of the Francis Crick Institute, located in King’s Cross. It will be made from numerous plates of weathered steel and will twist skywards, expanding in width to a diameter of five meters (16.5 feet) at its top.

In a statement announcing the commission, Shawcross said that he chose to construct the sculpture out of weathered steel “because it is true to the industrial history of the area, will be fabricated locally and is designed to be robust and practical.”

Shawcross added that the work’s form was inspired by “science and ideas of science and is also a metaphor for potential; the potential to grow, to take risks, to be bold and brave.” He said that he is certain such ideals will be at the heart of the institute in front of which his sculpture will sit.

Francis Crick Institute director Paul Nurse noted in the statement that “Conrad’s stimulating design for Paradigm draws on both artistic and scientific inspiration. It’s also an exceptional piece of engineering and will be a striking new piece of public art for London.”

The institute is scheduled to open late next year. Its primary focus will be on research towards better treatment and prevention of a wide range of diseases including cancer, heart disease, and neurological conditions.


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