Photos and words: Ben Cain and Tina Gverović.

Participation might mean just sitting or standing on the work, eating one’s lunch there, talking, kissing, watching the trees and other people

… or it might mean making and siting specific objects on the work and therefore using it as a set of display units.

The immediate environment [of the sculpture] includes the URS building and some really wonderful ancient trees such as the Tupelo tree Nyssa sylvatica and Cretan maple Acer sempervirens (see numbers 3 & 4 on the University’s Whiteknights Treewalk here).

We tried to be very respectful towards both of these, and of course the work does point to human-generated ecological damage that impacts on the natural environment. The URS is formed partly of coloured concrete blocks. While the structure is complex it appears to be constructed from simple blocks (which is why some people call it the Lego building). We did consider the possibility of adding pigment to our work in order to colour it in a similar way to the URS but decided that it was important to refer to the URS without attempting to emulate it in an explicit way. We chose a spot that is partially obscured from the main paths in the area because we didn’t want the work to feel monumental or to draw too much attention to itself, rather we wanted to site the work in a way that feels like it’s part of an interior-like space.

Text excerpted from our Q&A with the artists, for the full interview click here.