Artist Alex Chinneck launches a new sculpture in Circus Street, Brighton

  • A new artwork by Alex Chinneck for Circus Street, a new neighbourhood in Brighton
  • A 25 metre high spiralling sculpture
  • A ‘Spring in your step’ is free to view from 20th December
  • Developed by regeneration specialist U+I, Circus Street provides new homes, workspace, cultural space and landscaped public squares for local communities and businesses

British artist Alex Chinneck unveils his most complex and ambitious sculpture to date at Circus Street in Brighton on 20 December.

Titled, A spring in your step, the new site-specific artwork takes the form of a spiral staircase spectacularly springing apart in three directions across the facade of a building in Circus Street, a new neighbourhood developed by regeneration specialist U+I in Brighton.

Made from galvanised steel, and reaching 25 metres overhead, the surreal sculpture occupies the full height of a key architectural elevation at the heart of the square in Circus Street, creating a bold backdrop for this new event space. The artwork was conceived in direct response to the location and seeks to contribute to the energetic creative atmosphere envisaged for it.

A Spring in your step transforms an ordinary staircase into an extraordinary sculpture. Following the form of a spiral staircase at its base, the structure uncoils as it rises upwards and outwards over Circus Street’s central courtyard. Its three steel ribbons burst apart with sculptural energy, introducing movement into the volume above the courtyard while helping to animate and enliven the space below. This is characteristic of the artist’s work, which takes complex paths to playful results.

Commenting on the sculpture, Alex Chinneck said: “A Spring in your step took three years to complete, weighs four tonnes, is 25 metres tall, and follows a non-repeating, expanding and contracting helical form – making it my most complex sculpture to date.”

Best known for creating ambitious public sculptures on an architectural scale, Alex Chinneck has previously been invited to create flagship projects for London Design Festival and Milan Design Week. Past projects include a sliding house in Margate; a hovering stone building on Covent Garden Piazza; an inverted electricity pylon on Greenwich Peninsula; and an unzipping building in Milan.

Uniting the disciplines of art, design and architecture, Alex Chinneck’s work challenges our understanding of familiar objects and materials to create surreal sculptures that transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Alex Chinneck

Alex Chinneck creates surreal sculptures that transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. A spring in your step is his 11th major public artwork in the last 8 years. Website: Instagram: @alexchinneck

Circus Street

Circus Street is a new development by regeneration specialist U+I in Brighton. Public art is a cornerstone of U+I’s approach to placemaking and Alex Chinneck’s artwork is the latest to be installed at Circus Street, following sculptural bollards by Sir Anthony Gormley, as well as a circus themed totem by Christopher Baxter. A new home for South East Dance, opening at Circus Street soon, is the first publicly-funded arts building in Sussex in over a decade, and is expected to attract upwards of 70,000 visitors a year.

Alongside its cultural offering, Circus Street has delivered new office space and homes, as well as new planted public squares and retail in the heart of Brighton’s city centre. It has been developed by U+I in partnership with the University of Brighton and Brighton & Hove City Council. Instagram: @circusstreetbtn

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