In 2012 Frieze Foundation curated and produced six new public art projects as part of the London 2012 Festival, the finale of the Cultural Olympiad. Situated throughout east London, the series was known as Frieze Projects East.
The series was programmed by Frieze Foundation curator Sarah McCrory. The projects took place in the six east London Host Boroughs for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games: Barking & Dagenham, Greenwich, Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest.
Frieze Projects East was commissioned by CREATE and The London 2012 Festival.
The artists that took take part in Frieze Projects East included: Can Altay, Sarnath Banerjee, Anthea Hamilton & Nicholas Byrne, Gary Webb and Klaus Weber, as well as Ruth Ewan, the recipient of the CREATE art award.
For more detailed information on the projects FriezeProjectsEast.org
Location: William Morris Gallery and selected municipal and social housing (Waltham Forest)
Can Altay works between the fields of architecture, art, design and social commentary. Often taking the form of research projects or mixed-media installations, his work explores and delineates individuals’ relationships with their urban environments.
Within the borough of Waltham Forest, Altay’s work took the form of an everyday object that was installed in public buildings such as the YMCA, the Town Hall and social housing blocks. Taking temporary residence within the borough, Altay used the work to activate a dialogue with local communities and explore the relationship between public art and public service; the moments of social commitment or exchange within local spaces.
Gallery of Losers (Non-Performers, Almost-Winners, Under-Achievers, Almost-Made-Its)
Location: Selected billboards throughout host boroughs and in local newspapers
Sarnath Banerjee’s bold graphic works centre on universal themes,common experience and his Indian background and culture. Anecdotal and autobiographical in nature, his stories are imbued with humour and immediacy.They follow a main protagonist (often the artist himself) as he navigates his way through everyday scenarios and stories; be it the plight of a car salesman, or the decisions of a political think tank.
Banerjee produced a series of posters and a graphic narrative around the shared history of competitive sport. Drawing on his own experience with boxing and the story of Brazil’s first Judo champion, Banerjee’s commission tapped into a collective consciousness of sporting near misses or partial successes, the people who almost made it, resonating with both local communities and visitors of the 2012 games.
The Create Art Award 2012: Liberties of the Savoy
Liberties of the Savoy took the historical area once known as the Precinct of the Savoy in central London as its starting point. This project engaged over 200 participants across the six Olympic boroughs and young people were mentored to gain new skills, which allowed them to programme their own event at The Savoy.
Taking place in July during the London 2012 Festival, the project culminated in a celebratory event where the young people were granted ‘Liberties of the Savoy’ for one afternoon. Exclusively for the participants, this project has been documented on film and in print.
Produced with additional support from The Savoy
The CREATE Art Award is the largest participatory art award in the UK and is sponsored by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Anthea Hamilton and Nicholas Byrne
Location: Poplar Baths, E14 0EH
Anthea Hamilton and Nicholas Byrne’s collaboration brought together their practices of sensate sculptural installation and figurative painting. Consisting of a series of anthropomorphic inflatable sculptures, made to their own design, the work filled an iconic but empty east London swimming pool. Working on a large scale with a mixture of both suspended and free-standing sculptures, the project extended the duo’s interest in the theatrical and sensory experience of art.
Location: Charlton Park, SE7 8QU
Gary Webb’s sculptural works reference and draw on an array of disparate elements from material culture. Combining the forms and traditions of 20th-century sculpture with the synthetic materials and methods of the design industry, his works appear as idiosyncratic, nonsensical and playful propositions.
Webb’s commission for Frieze Projects East saw the construction of a permanent and interactive public sculpture installed within a popular community park. Built from steamed wood, polished aluminum and cast resin, Webb’s piece combines brightly coloured and large scale public sculpture with elements of modular playground equipment.
Location: 5 Sugar House Lane, E15 2QS
Weber’s commission presented a distinctive take on a traditional way to artificially ornament a site. Sandfountain took the form of a traditional three-tiered fountain, engineered to propel sand rather than water. The artist has made several previous fountain projects. Like them, Sandfountain is part visual-pun, part spectacle, both confounding our materials expectations and emphasising its own artifice.