A major piece of public art for Brighton & Hove was installed at the new Circus Street development in late 2021 and is now open to the public. Created by the British artist Alex Chinneck, the site-specific artwork ‘A spring in your step’ takes the form of a huge spiral staircase spectacularly springing apart in three directions across the facade of a building, transforming an ordinary staircase into an extraordinary sculpture.
Made from galvanised steel, and reaching 25 metres overhead, the surreal sculpture occupies the full height of a key architectural elevation at the heart of the central Market Square in Circus Street, creating a bold backdrop for the site’s outdoor event space, opposite The Dance Space – Brighton’s new home for the arts charity South East Dance. Commissioned by Circus Street’s developers, U+Iplc; the artwork was conceived in direct response to the location and seeks to contribute to the energetic creative atmosphere envisaged for it.
Following the form of a spiral staircase at its base, the structure uncoils as it rises upwards and outwards over the courtyard, its three steel ribbons bursting apart with sculptural energy, introducing movement into the volume above the courtyard while helping to animate and enliven the space below. This is characteristic of the artist’s work, which takes complex paths to playful results.
Uniting the disciplines of art, design, and architecture, Alex Chinneck’s work challenges our understanding of familiar objects and materials to create surreal sculptures that transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.
‘A spring in your step’ is his 11th major public artwork in the last 8 years. Commenting on the sculpture, Alex Chinneck said: “A spring in your step’ took three years to complete, weighs four tonnes, is 25 metres tall, and follows a non-repeating, expanding and contracting helical form – making it my most complex sculpture to date.”
Best known for creating ambitious public sculptures on an architectural scale, Alex Chinneck has previously been invited to create flagship projects for London Design Festival and Milan Design Week. Other past projects include a sliding house in Margate; a hovering stone building on Covent Garden Piazza; an inverted electricity pylon on Greenwich Peninsula; and an unzipping building in Milan.
You can find further information about Alex Chinneck’s ‘A spring in your step’ and other works here
Or on Instagram: @alexchinneck
Title of artwork: A spring in your step
Materials: Galvanised steel
Date of Installation: December 2021
Location: Market Square, Circus Street, Brighton BN2 9AS
Artist: Alex Chinneck https://www.alexchinneck.com/
Contractor: Millimetre https://millimetre.uk.net/
Commissioned by: https://www.uandiplc.com/