The man responsible for levitating buildings and melting brick facades straight onto the pavement is back again with yet another surreal monument. British sculptor and master of illusion Alex Chinneck has unveiled A Bullet from a Shooting Star, his latest and greatest work in making the “everyday become extraordinary.” Located on an industrial wasteland at Greenwich Peninsula, the steel sculpture depicts an enormous 35-meter-tall electricity pylon flipped on its head at an angle that suggests it was shot down from the heavens.
“I was inspired by the incredible history of industry and power generation on the site,” says Chinneck. “There are a number of architectural relics that remain from that time, and that aesthetic along with the historical narrative led me to electricity pylons.” The incredible artwork’s weightless appearance belies the massive amount of engineering that went into making the upside-down pylon look as if it were balancing on a tiny tip of metal. A Bullet from a Shooting Star weighs 15 tons and was constructed from 450 pieces of steel and 900 engineered connection points. The jaw-dropping optical illusion is made possible by a 120-ton concrete counterweight embedded in a 25-meter-deep foundation.
Chinneck describes A Bullet from a Shooting Star as his “biggest challenge to date” and “one that could only be realized through collaborative design and problem solving.” The highly visible and gigantic sculpture lights up at night and casts shadows during the day like a giant sundial. Chinneck says the sculpture’s comparison to a sundial is particularly apt since the sculpture intersects the prime meridian line in Greenwich, the center of world time.
Images via Alex Chinneck