British artist and designer Alex Chinneck has constructed one of his most ambitious installation to date where he peels the front of a four-storey red brick Victorian house in Margate away from the rest of the building. As a curving facade of bricks, windows and doors slides into the front garden of the property. The home has been vacant for eleven years, its upper interiors are revealed to the public below.
Thanet District Council donated a dilapidated house (due to be converted for social housing) for one year in the residential area of Cliftonville, a district striking for both the grandeur of its ageing architecture and the challenging social issues it has faced in the last thirty years. Together with Margate’s widely discussed use of culture as a tool for regeneration, this location provides an ideal context for an artwork that has the ability to amuse and amaze the local community.
The beginning of construction followed a twelve-month campaign undertaken by the artist to realise his self-initiated £100,000 project. Ten leading companies across British industry have agreed to donate all the materials, manufacturing capabilities and professional services required to build the sliding facade
Alex Chinneck’s practice playfully warps the everyday world around us, presenting surreal spectacles in the places we expect to find something familiar. At 29 years old ‘From the knees of my nose to the belly of toes’ is his boldest project yet as continues to theatrically combine art and architecture in physically amazing ways. This project follows his acclaimed 2012 installation ‘Telling the truth through false teeth’, in which the artist installed 1248 pieces of glass across the façade of a factory in Hackney to create the illusion that its 312 windows had been identically smashed and cracked.
Alex Chinneck : “From the knees of my nose to the belly of my toes” Location: 1 Godwin Road, Cliftonville, Margate. 29th of September 2013 – October 2014