Passacaglia, Kings Road Arches.
Designed by Charles Hadcock, Passacaglia was funded by a National Lottery grant and stands over 5 meters tall. Inspired by the limestone terrace tessellations at Black Head, Co Clare, Ireland, and an instrumental piece of Italian music with a repeated theme, the structure evokes the power of the ocean and emphasizes the expanse of the horizon. Emerging as a huge wave out of the seafront, or the remains of an old shipwreck, it focuses on the dramatic contrast between the two piers and vast, limitless, sea. It has been constructed from recycled cast iron using a combination of processes, which have not changed since the early nineteenth century. The sculpture represents a contemporary restoration of Regency optimism and an abstract reinterpretation of Victorian engineering.
The Twins, Churchill Square.
Created by Charlie Hooker and Commissioned by Standard Life, The Twins were installed as part of the 1998 Churchill Square regeneration scheme. Sculpted from materials, granite, stone and glass, the pieces have been specifically designed to be interactive. The images etched onto the Bronze plaques are derived from weather patterns taken at Churchill Square, which have been digitized into twelve sound art pieces for each month of the year. These solar sounds have been combined with samples taken from around Brighton, which play when the sun falls upon each plaque. The sun triggers a system of internal electronics, which reverberate the sounds naturally without the use of speakers. Children playing on the beach resonate in August – from the spring and summer twin, storms in October – from the autumn and winter twin.
The Kiss Wall, Kings Road Promenade.
Engineered by Bruce Williams, The Kiss Wall was installed in 1992 next to the then, Palace Pier. The piece depicts all possible variations upon the kiss – gay and lesbian – inter-racial – old and young – lovers and family. By contrasting unconventional images with conventional depictions of the kiss, all reach parity and achieve a unity. Williams pioneered the merger of digital medium and sculpture, by drilling a computerized dot-screen onto an aluminium canvass. By using a negative half-tone effect against the backdrop of sky, the matrices of sunlight create the illusion that each kiss comes alive. The piece symbolizes Brighton’s liberal attitude towards homosexuality and the city’s all-embracing approach towards life.
Afloat, Brighton Pier Groyne.
Known locally as “the doughnut”, ‘afloat’ was funded by The Lottery Commission, on behalf of a bid by the Seafront Development Initiative. Created by Sussex born, Hamish Black, it is inspired by the speculative models that scientists use to understand the world of matter. In the same way that artists manipulate matter to understand the world of ideas, afloat expresses the form of a black hole – or Taurus shape. Cut into the piece are negative and unequal shapes of the Continents, giving the impression that they are floating across the surface, adrift in space. The hole in the middle aligns the sea horizon with the central longitudinal line, while the iridescent blue and green patination evoke the ever-changing colour of the sky and sea. It is made from 2.2 tones of Bronze, using a mixture of sand casting, the lost wax process, dry fixing and welding.