As part of the Crossrail Community Investment Programme, BFK (Bam Ferrovial Kier joint venture) have teamed up with art student Frank Harris on his mission to create his final project for the Slade School of Fine Art, part of UCL.
BFK is engaged in supporting communities local to their projects, especially in the areas of environment and arts so when Frank contacted them about using their tunnel’s clay, they managed to obtain the 1.5 tons of material he requested for this special project.
Frank is a final year art student from East London. Working in the sculpture department where he has specialized in mainly large, often functional sculptural installations. He has always been interested in creating work from scrap, and has also been working with the idea of connecting his sculptures with their surroundings. This concept is very much aligned with BFK values promoting the use of recycled material and also leaving an artistic legacy after Crossrail project is completed.
Clay has been used for many of Frank’s works this year, firstly in an oven, built by combining clay with straw and sand to create a building material called cob. Cob has been used since prehistoric times to make shelters and is the main component in some of the oldest man-made structures on earth. Frank used the material in three sculptural installations based on birds nest that either use the clay in cob form or by making it into a slip (a liquid mix of clay and water), that can then be applied to hessian strips placed on malleable sculptural material.
Frank said: “It’s been great using Crossrail clay, seeing exactly where it’s from and thinking about its history. It’s exciting to think about what the world may have been like when this clay was formed.” Frank Harris creation, along with others, will be exhibited on the Slade Shows 2013, BA/BFA Fine Art. For more information please visit: www.ucl.ac.uk/slade
As result of this collaboration, and following the steps of previous initiatives during London’12 Olympics, Crossrail has launched its own “Arts in Residence Programme”, where the opportunity to use recycled material extracted from the project will be offered to new artists. There will be residency placements for those selected and eight Crossrail stations will be home for the best eight creations. For more information visit: http://www.crossrailart.co.uk/
BFK is a joint venture comprising three of the world’s leading tunnelling, civil engineering and construction companies: BAM, Ferrovial and Kier.
BFK is constructing two railway tunnels that will run for 6.4 km between the Royal Oak Portal and the new Farringdon Crossrail station and is also building the station tunnel caverns at Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road and Farringdon.