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The Observatory rotating structures move to Buckler’s Hard

From November 2016 until June 2017 artists will be taking up residence in The Observatory temporary structures which have just been installed at Buckler’s Hard overlooking the beautiful Beaulieu River.


The two striking structures – an artists’ studio called The Study and a public shelter named The Workshop – are part of a collaborative project with SPUD, a charity which specialises in the arts, architecture and educational projects. The structures will be located at Buckler's Hard from November 2016 until June 2017.

Both wooden structures stand on turntables and have rotating handles to change the view of the landscape throughout the day across the 18th century shipbuilding village and the Beaulieu River, which is one of the few privately owned estuaries in the world.

The Observatory The Observatory at Buckler's Hard

Each artist will spend more than 20 days in The Study and The Workshop will remain open to Buckler’s Hard visitors while each artist is away.

Until December 30th 2016 poet and artist Ella Frears, who has been shortlisted for the Young Poet Laureate award, will be based at Buckler’s Hard. Ella works with text, printmaking, moving images and audio to explore memories and the female voice.

Ella Frears Ella Frears

From January 2nd to February 24th 2017 Helen Snell will take up residence. Helen uses a range of digital processes including laser cutting and water-jet cutting to create sculptures which explore the themes of mass reproduction and originality.

Helen Snell Helen Snell

Then from February 27th to April 21st 2017 Christine Mackey  will explore environmental concerns using graphic sources and quasi-scientific methods to create her art.

Christine Mackey Christine Mackey

In addition to the commissioned artists, SPUD is also making The Observatory available to a number of local artists.

The Observatory, which is sponsored by Arts Council England, James Lathams Ltd and Accsys Technologies, was created as a sculptural installation, workspace, shelter and a look-out for the artists. It is travelling around four locations over two years and has come to Buckler’s Hard from National Trust-owned Mottisfont.

The Observatory Each wooden structure can be rotated by hand.

The rotating structures, which are clad in charred wood created with the traditional Japanese preservation technique Shou Sugi Ban, were designed by a team of young architectural graduates at Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios in London who won a competition. The Observatory has been recognised with awards including a RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) South Award in 2016. Traditional rope weaving techniques used by Devon-based artist Edward Crumpton have added decoration to the structures.

SPUD previously worked on the Exbury Egg project, an eye-cataching, energy efficient and self-sustaining workspace for artist Stephen Turner on the Beaulieu River.

The Observatory Inside 'The Workshop'

For The Observatory project website see www.lookinlokout.org or join the conversation at www.facebook.com/SPUDObservatory.


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