New Julian Opie artwork unveiled at the Eden Project
Artist Julian Opie has unveiled a new installation at the Eden Project which has been created as a homage to the Cornish garden’s visitors.
The piece, entitled Crowd 4., is a monolith sculpture with an animation played on a double-sided LED screen. The film features a number of people crossing the screen, creating a monument of a crowd or flock.
It stands at four meters (13 feet) tall and is four meters wide. It is being displayed in the centre of the Eden Project’s outdoor gardens and in front of the Mediterranean Biome.
Through the use of LED screens, Julian aims to echo the idea of urban signage, usually used to give signals or commands.
The figures have been drawn so as to retain their individual character, without being overly detailed. Julian’s vision is that visitors to the Eden Project will feel at ease with the figures and enjoy their endless movement.
Julian chose the figures featured in the new installation randomly as they passed by his studio in Central London; he then invited them to be filmed walking on a treadmill. This allowed the artist to depict a realistic and richly diverse set of characters in terms of dress, posture and gait.
Crowd 4. is the latest in a series of LED sculptures featuring walking people that Julian has installed in public spaces all over the world. Examples include Phoenix, Calgary, Hong Kong, Zurich, Taipei, Seoul and London.
Dr Jo Elworthy, Eden’s Director of Interpretation, said: “Julian’s work is acclaimed the world over and we are thrilled to have such a well-respected artist creating something wonderful and bespoke for the Eden Project.
“I am sure that our visitors will be enthralled and engaged by the installation and enjoy it for many years to come”.
Julian said: “I have visited, stayed and played in Cornwall all my life. My ancestors came from there and I have drawn any number of artworks inspired by the coast and hills.
“The Eden Project is now an integral part of Cornish culture and I’m really proud and happy to have a large artwork sited there.”
Julian Opie was born in 1958 in London and graduated in 1983 from Goldsmiths School of Art. Julian has exhibited widely in the UK and internationally with major museum exhibitions. He is represented by 12 galleries worldwide and has presented many public projects in cities around the world.
The distinctive style of Julian’s sculptures, paintings and films is known throughout the world. Always exploring different techniques both cutting edge and ancient, he plays with ways of seeing through reinterpreting the vocabulary of everyday life.
Julian’s works can be found in many public art collections, including Tate, British Museum, Victoria & Albert, Arts Council, British Council and National Portrait Gallery in London, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, ICA in Boston USA, Essl Collection in Vienna, IVAM in Spain, The Israel Museum in Jerusalem and Takamatsu City Museum of Art in Japan.
One of Julian's most notable commissions was the design of the album cover for British pop band Blur’s ‘The Best Of’ in 2000, for which he received a Music Week CADS award. In 2006, he created an LED projection for U2's Vertigo world tour.
For more information on Julian Opie and his work go to www.julianopie.com