The flexible and powerful design credentials of the traditional brick are being showcased in a series of cutting edge public art projects, with innovative brick products from the UK’s largest brickmaker, Ibstock, taking centre stage.
London artist Alex Chinneck has worked with the brick manufacturer on a range of art projects designed to put a new slant on the seemingly ordinary features of our built environment. Using the Ibstock-Kevington Fastwall cladding system, which offers easy and versatile installation of real brick panels, Alex first created the imaginative 'from the knees of my nose to the belly of my toes' piece, in which a mid-19th century terraced house has been clad with the versatile product to create the illusion that its façade has slid into the front garden.
Chinneck chose the seaside location of Margate as the home for the piece, which uses the Birtley Olde English bricks, to provide an interesting cultural alternative to London. The location also boasts a strong history of art, with it being home to the flagship Turner Gallery, as well as the place in which renowned artist Tracey Emin grew up. Alex’s innovative public exhibition will add to the town’s artistic credentials until this autumn, after which, the derelict four-storey property used in the installation will be converted back into housing.
Fastwall has also made an appearance in the artist’s latest and largest public installation, which is turning heads on the streets of London for a slightly different reason. In his ‘Miner on the moon’ installation, Alexhas turned two London buildings, previously livery stables dating back to the 1700s, upside down. Fastwall was used to provide the substrate, enabling rapid and precise installation, and was specified in Ibstock’s Old Chelsea Yellow brick slips to match the local London vernacular and complement the build style.
Andrew Halstead-Smith, Group Marketing Manager at Ibstock Brick, comments: “The specification of the Ibstock-Kevington Fastwall in these innovative modern art projects is further proof that one of the most traditional building materials is seeing a resurgence in popularity, thanks to its powerful design credentials. Outside the art world, the product offers a revolutionary real brick slip cladding panel system that replicates real brickwork perfectly, at incredible speed.”
Ibstock-Kevington Fastwall panels are quick and versatile to install and can be fitted by a two person team in minutes onto a timber frame dwelling, over common block work, or over existing masonry. The system’s unique lipping feature ensures that a weatherproof outer skin is formed, whilst the fact the system is available in virtually any brick type makes it a highly robust and flexible alternative that is totally indistinguishable from standard brickwork.