Battersea Power Station Unveils “Power” New Public Art Commission by Morag Myerscough
Bold and colourful artwork unveiled at the entrance of Circus West Village
Battersea Power Station has unveiled a new public art commission by leading British artist and designer Morag Myerscough.
Situated at Grosvenor Arch, the entrance to Circus West Village at Battersea Power Station, the new installation, called Power, acts as a bold, colourful welcome to visitors and passersby and a celebration of the iconic building that has inspired the work. Marking a new era in its history, the commission is a bold statement by Battersea Power Station of its commitment to inject more culture into this part of London.
Created from marine plywood panels and handpainted by Myserscough and her team of painters in her studio, the piece sports her trademark eye-popping colour palette that stands out from its surroundings and can be seen from across the other side of the River Thames. Power brings together recollections of Battersea Power Station and the surrounding area as told to Myerscough by her family who visited the Battersea Pleasure Gardens that were historically situated next to the Power Station as well as the 1951 Festival of Britain. For Myerscough, the resulting stories evoked a riot of ‘colour and enjoyment’.
Morag Myerscough said: “It was a wonderful commission for me as there were so many recent historic references in this area that I wanted to embrace as they were akin to the aesthetic of my work. I have been captivated by the Festival of Britain in 1951 since I was very small as it was always talked about in our family home as a time of change and optimism. As the work progressed, I did not want to make a piece that looked back but to make a new optimistic piece that embraced the past but ultimately looked to the future. I felt strongly that I wanted to incorporate the word ‘POWER – ENERGY – INSPIRE – STRENGH – DRIVE – DYNAMISM – INFLUENCE, summing up all I was trying to achieve in making this piece.”
David Twohig, Head of Design at Battersea Power Station, said: “Morag’s artwork is a clear and bold statement which demonstrates not only our commitment to enlivening this part of London through art and design, but also that we are open. The first shops and restaurants at Circus West Village have now opened their doors to the public and we have an exciting programme of events lined up this summer for everyone to enjoy. The artwork takes pride of place at the entrance to the neighbourhood and is the first in a series of public sculptures to be unveiled as part of our vision to activate this space.”
Built in the 1930s, Battersea Power Station was the major site of electricity production up until 1983 and a beacon of Britain’s optimism about the future. Myerscough has borrowed elements of the details from the original art deco doors in the Directors Board Room, which depicted how the production of electricity was key to the country’s future, epitomizing the optimism of 1920s’ and 1930s’ society in the production of energy. Power is about taking inspiration from certain key moments and images associated with the Power Station’s past to create a new optimism and a look to the future.
The commission is part of Battersea Power Station’s cultural strategy, which also includes:
- The recently opened Village Hall, a new 5,000 sq ft multi-use arts venue created in partnership with Battersea Arts Centre.
- A partnership with CASS Sculpture Foundation which includes an annual commission to be exhibited across Battersea Power Station’s public platforms for three months each year.
- A geo-linked educational Heritage Trail app with an augmented reality tour and games which will bring to life the rich history of the Power Station.
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