Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Station Square, Colchester

The newly revamped Station Square Colchester was formally opened last week. The design was inspired by the history of Colchester. Engineering and in particular the Britannia Works played a significant role in the local history. The laser cut out patterns in the fence are taken from blueprint drawings of engines created at the Works. 

The finials on the fence are a reproduction of the most significant engine manufactured in Britannia Works. This 12TPM engine was used in Landing crafts in the second world war.

The poem is by Martin Newell and is made from cast iron like an arced railway track leading from the platform to the street.

Many thanks to Colchester Borough Council and in particular Neil Hopkins and Howard Davies, the architect Lindsay White, Martin Newell for his poem and as ever, a massive thanks to Seb Boyesen for making everything.









The full poem:


Ancient Lights
By ruined Roman brickwork
In cold October air
Past Michaelmas, on Beryfield
They held St Dennis Fair
Now damsels dance down Queen St
And meet their modern knights
While trains come into Colchester
Beneath these ancient lights

On early Norman arches
The blue-eyed jackdaws perch
Above those cloistered shadows
Behind the Gothic church
A greensward for their carpet
They gaze down from the heights
For alms the tourists leave them
Beneath these ancient lights

Below St Botolph's Circus
Under the traffic's roar
The souls of nameless soldiers
Go back and forth to war
In court each winter morning
The sun reads out his rights
The prisoner stands there, yawning
And longs for ancient lights

While medieval rooftops
Stare up at steel and glass
The past reminds the future 
To let the present pass
When August flirts with autumn
And starry are the nights
And Colchester lies twinkling
Among the ancient lights

Friday, 22 November 2013

Etsy shop addition

I have just added another rotund football supporter to my Etsy shop. 

http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/JoFairfax?ref=si_shop

Plus, a tea driven animated cyclist should be available soon.






Thursday, 21 November 2013

Colchester Station Square finials

The finials for the new Colchester Station Square are currently being 3d printed. These will then be cast in to bronze. Each finial will be sited along the top of the new fence verticals in the Station Square. They reference the engineering of locally based Britannia Works who made these 12TPM engines used in the landings in Dieppe, North Africa, Sicily, Italy and Normandy.  

A poem by Martin Newell about the history of Colchester creates a large linear arc of cast iron and is inlaid in the new floorscape connecting the railway line to the external public realm. Sections of Martin's poem are included in the newly designed fence. This square is due to be opened on December 11th.

Massive thanks, as always goes to Seb Boyesen.




Sunday, 20 October 2013

Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre, Harrogate. Site visit.

I went to site last week in Harrogate to see how progress is going on with the installation of the my various pieces. 
Most of the animated glass has now been installed. As people walk passed these windows the image of the gardener carrying a broom comes to life and he walks across the window. This silhouette is repeated with the gardener in the interactive films.






This is where the projection of the interactive film of the Harrogate Gardener will be located and here is one of the 25 film clips which will be selected randomly when triggered by people moving. The background stays the same. 



video


The other wall in this courtyard will have a set of interactive films of a hedgehog.


video


The long perforated fence will be installed in 3 weeks time. The LED wayfinding elements will be installed in the first week in December.

Massive thanks to Seb Boyesen as always, to Jonathan Hale for his acting skills to David Proto for his skill and patience and to Janet Peto at the Hedgehog Welfare for allowing me access to those beautiful hedgehogs.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Seaham public seating update

The cast iron captain's chairs for Seaham Public Realm have been cast and welded. They now just need patinering ready for installation.

The two chairs will be sited near a registry office and it is anticipated that they will be central to people's wedding photographs.

Massive thanks again to Seb Boyesen for making these.





Thursday, 12 September 2013

Tea driven automata

Here is my next tea driven automata. 

video


Thanks again to Kevin Badni for a most excellent tea time conversation followed by working out the mechanical principles.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Tea driven automata

I have wanted to make automata driven by my cup of tea for some time. I spoke with my friend Kevin Badni about this and we brainstormed ways to make this possible. Thanks to Kevin we worked out how to make this happen and I have been making some tea driven automata since our chats.

The first one is a Tour de France cyclist. He carries on cycling for about 50 minutes per cup of tea.

The idea of harnessing all energy around us is central to these automata.

video

Friday, 23 August 2013

Etsy Shop open

I have decided to put the cartoons I draw for sale as prints in an Etsy Shop. These have been drawn simply for fun. I will put other items on there in time.

http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/JoFairfax?ref=si_shop

I hope that you enjoy them.


Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Beard Tax

What a strange and wonderful world this is.

Here is a Russian beard token from 1705. A tax imposed by Peter the Great. This token showed that the owner had paid the beard tax.


Friday, 10 May 2013

Interactive film

A short film showing the new installation at the new York City Council building, sited on the old York Railway Station.


video



Many thanks to:
Seb Boyesen
Laurence Pearce
Ian Giles
York City Council
Beam.
The piece is launched with other artworks on May 24th.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Interactive film

Just installed an interactive film in the entrance to the new York City Council building. The building is the old railway station. The old fashioned station master is triggered by movement in the entrance hall and undertakes a series of welcoming gestures and dances activated by  people as they walk through the space.

Massive thanks to Sebastien Boyesen, Laurence Pearce, Beam, York City Council and local actor Ian Giles.









Thursday, 7 February 2013

Total Lighting Magazine article

An article on laser project 'Stitch' plus an interview has just been released in this months 'Total Lighting' magazine.

http://issuu.com/totallighting/docs/tl_feb_combined?mode=window

Pages 12 to 16.