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Ringstack

Southampton
Adam Barker-Mill
2018 - 2019
Host Production’s was contracted by Southampton Cultural Development Trust to produce a feasibility study looking into the possibility of re-commissioning public art installation Ringstack by artist Adam Barker-Mill in Southampton.

Ringstack was originally developed in 2012 for the Marsh and Parsons Estate Agents Office building on Kensington Park Road, Notting Hill Gate in London. The artwork was commissioned by Notting Hill Gate Improvements Group (NHIG) to capture London’s post Olympic spirit and reflect the importance of Notting Hill as a vibrant and creative cultural hub.

The artwork emerged from a series of experiments in the artist’s studio with cardboard boxes and lanterns. The cut-away lantern known as ‘Reflect Colour Piece’, shown at Harris Lindsay and a number of works that followed it, led to the creation of this public sculpture. A considerable technical achievement, this sculpture forms a ringed tower of light rising vertically to 10 metres above the building that it is sited on, clearly visible against the sky by day and lit from within its base by a powerful lamp at night.

Dubbed the “Notting Hill Skylon” Ringstack is reminiscent of the Modernist period with its ascending discs of light making clear reference to Fritz Lang’s film Metropolis in 1927 and the original Skylon structure designed for the Festival of Britain in 1951 – an aspirational symbol.

About the artist
Adam Barker-Mill’s work examines the physical and experimental properties of light, an interest, which originated from his childhood fascination with the caves located in his hometown of Somerset. His works are simplistic in appearance, allowing the viewer to maintain an idealistic visual, acutely unaware of the carefully structured designs, which generate, manipulate and modulate light. The artworks are highly engaging, the various light effects and constantly changing experience, is due to the viewers positioning, natural light conditions and in specific works, the option to interact with the works; actually altering the light intensity and colour for yourself. The effects of the works are subtle and surprising, perceptual distortion is a common platform of discussion, which undoubtedly adds to the enticing elements within his beautiful and precise sculptures.

Text edited from Adam Barker-Mill’s 2015 Monograph and artist’s biography from Bartha Contemporary.