Look up upon arrival at London’s St Pancras International station and you might be surprised to find a shining aluminium sculpture suspended from the roof. Designed by acclaimed artist and designer, Ron Arad, the 18-metre-long twisted blade is the latest in a series of installations in the station made possible via a partnership between the Royal Academy of the Arts and St Pancras International.
Unveiled yesterday, “Thought of Train of Thought” was commissioned by the ambitious Terrace Wires programme of public artworks. Each year for the past four years, the programme has commissioned a work of contemporary art to be hung for six months from St Pancras station’s Grade 1 listed Barlow Shed roof in front of the station’s famous clock. A panel selects the Terrace Wires artwork, which it considers to be “most inspired by the station, its beauty and grandeur, and the history and architecture of the station”.
Israeli-born Arad was elected as a Royal Academician by the Royal Academy of Arts in London in 2013. He studied architecture but has garnered praise for his large-scale public sculptures in London, Tokyo, Seoul and Madrid. Arad’s imaginative furniture designs including his “Restless” bookcase (2007) have also led to him becoming one of the most collectible designers today.
With “Thought of Train of Thought”, Arad sought to create a “minimal, monolithic and calm” work in a hectic environment bustling with frazzled commuters. The aluminium blade rotates slowly and hypnotically to create the illusion of horizontal movement and suggests a train in motion. “I want this piece to enjoy the freedom from the static meeting of gravity and ground,” Arad said.
“Thought of Train of Thought” will be exhibited in St Pancras station through January 2017 and is free to view. Arad has also created a kinetic sculpture, “Spyre” for the Royal Academy of Arts’ Summer Exhibition, which will be on display in the Annenberg Courtyard until 21 August 2016.