The psychedelic sculpture – an ode to Alice in Wonderland, with steampunk and neo-Gothic architecture – will be installed in St Pancras in London next year

Next summer, Anglo-South Asian artist Shezad Dawood will unveil his largest sculpture to date in London’s St Pancras station for Terrace Wires, one of the UK’s most important public art commissions. .

Full details of the artwork have yet to be released, but Dawood says it will be a 5m wide sculpture in a “psychedelic color scheme” that will evoke Gothic Revival architecture. the 19th century train station as well as the aesthetic of steampunk. fiction. Its proposed title, HMS Alice Liddell, refers to a friend of writer Lewis Carroll who is believed to have given his name to the main character of Alice in Wonderland.

Recalling the architecture of the station also allows Dawood to pay homage to his own childhood: the artist grew up not far from the station, the spiral turrets of the adjoining hotel designed by George Gilbert Scott having “occupied a place. important ”in his young imagination. Much of Dawood’s work today deals with architectural sites, most notably his long-standing research into modernist architecture in South Asia.

Render detail, Shezad Dawood, 2021 Image courtesy of the artist

Meanwhile, the rainbow color palette, according to Dawood, will recall “pride, plurality and visibility” to subvert the imperial and patriarchal associations of the days when Gothic Revival architecture was. popular. Dawood’s commission will also include an augmented reality feature that will be accessible via mobile devices and relate to the steampunk elements of the artwork, he says.

Terrace Wires’ last commission was the neon 2018 work by Tracey Emin which reads the phrase “I want my time with you”. Emin’s was the seventh commission and followed works by artists such as Conrad Shawcross and Cornelia Parker.


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