Ron Arad Unveils St Pancras International Train of Thought Installation

A major site-specific installation, Thought of Train of Thought, 2016, by Royal Academician Ron Arad has been unveiled, for Terrace Wires, the station’s public commissioning programme for new artwork by leading international artists. This is the second instalment of a four year partnership between HS1 Ltd. (owners of St Pancras International station) and the Royal Academy for the station’s public sculpture series, following Cornelia Parker RA’s One More Time in 2015. This year marks the fourth year of the Terrace Wires commission at the station.

Suspended on wires from St Pancras International’s Grade 1 listed Barlow Shed roof, Thought of Train of Thought, comprises one 18 metre twisted blade made of aluminium which rotates slowly creating an optical illusion of movement. Ron Arad RA said, ‘The rotation and the horizontal movement take turns in the viewers’ perception as the readings of the object alternate and the hypnotic effect is greater than the means, so will hopefully be the delight of the public at St Pancras.’

Arad has designed a number of public art works including the Vortext in Seoul, South Korea, the Kesher Sculpture at Tel Aviv University, Israel, Evergreen in Tokyo, Japan, and Curtain Call for the Roundhouse, London. As part of the Summer Exhibition 2016, Arad has created a new work, Spyre, for the RA Courtyard until 21 August.

Terrace Wires is a highly visible programme for public art. It offers 48 million travellers each year the chance to experience the latest contemporary art as they pass through the station. This partnership between HS1 Ltd. and the Royal Academy of Arts builds on the shared belief in the values of bringing art to the community whilst celebrating the approach in 2018 of both the Royal Academy’s 250th anniversary and the 150th anniversary of St Pancras station. The commission is the Royal Academy’s only external public sculpture series in London and is free to view.

Thought of Train of Thought will be at St Pancras International station until January 2017. The work was fabricated by CIG Architecture based in Groningen in the Netherlands.

Tim Marlow, Artistic Director at the Royal Academy of Arts, said: ‘Ron Arad’s work has always blurred the boundaries between architecture, sculpture, engineering and design which is why both the RA and HS1 are so excited by the project he has developed. Thought of Train of Thought will reflect – in every sense of the word – on one of London’s great urban structures. The experience should be both spectacular and thought provoking and offer the visitor a genuinely new perspective on a national landmark.’

Wendy Spinks, Commercial Director at HS1 Ltd. (owners of St Pancras International), said: “Terrace Wires is about encouraging people visiting St Pancras to take a moment and look up. As the first moving installation commissioned for the space, we are excited to see how the public react and engage with this captivating piece. Following last year’s success, we are pleased to be celebrating a second year of our partnership with the Royal Academy of Arts and thank Ron Arad for designing a unique and impressive sculpture for our thousands of daily commuters and visitors to enjoy.”

Ron Arad RA Born in Tel Aviv in 1951, educated at the Jerusalem Academy of Art and later at the Architectural Association in London, Ron Arad co-founded with Caroline Thorman the design and production studio One Off in 1981 and later, in 1989, Ron Arad Associates architecture and design practice. In 2008 Ron Arad Architects was established alongside Ron Arad Associates. From 1994 to 1999 he established the Ron Arad Studio, design and production unit in Como, Italy. Arad was awarded the Royal Designer for Industry (RDI) in recognition of his ‘sustained excellence in aesthetic and efficient design for industry’ in 2002, and was awarded the London Design Medal in 2011. He was professor of Design at the Hochschule in Vienna from 1994 to 1997, and later Professor of Design Products at the Royal College of Art in London up until 2009, when he was made Professor Emeritus. In 2013 he was elected as a Royal Academician by the Royal Academy of Art in London. Arad’s constant experimentation with the possibilities of materials such as steel, aluminium or polyamide and his radical re-conception of the form and structure of furniture has put him at the forefront of contemporary design. Arad has designed a number of Public Art pieces, including the Vortext in Seoul, Korea, the Kesher Sculpture at Tel Aviv University, Evergreen in Tokyo, and Curtain Call for Roundhouse, London. As part of the Summer Exhibition 2016, Arad has created a new site-specific installation, Spyre, for the RA Courtyard until 21 August. In June 2016, Arad received theCompasso d’Oro Award in Milan.

Thought of Train of Thought, 2016, by Royal Academician Ron Arad for Terrace Wires at St Pancras International station, co-presented by HS1 Ltd. and the Royal Academy of Arts © Tim Whitby Photo: Courtesy Royal Academy Press office

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