COMMUTERS will soon be treated to the sensational sight of a city centre eyesore literally turning itself inside out.
The former Yates’s Wine Lodge building, opposite Moorfields station, is now the subject of one of the more eye-catching pieces of art planned for Capital of Culture.
Sculptor Richard Wilson has cut out an egg-shaped section of the derelict building’s front and fixed it to a giant pivot.
Once it is officially up and running later this month, the facade will rotate like a huge opening and closing window, giving passers-by a glimpse of the interior.
The artwork, called Turning The Place Over, will be launched on June 20 and will run until the end of 2008. It is costing £450,000 - with Culture Company paying £150,000.
With thousands of city centre workers using Moorfields station every day, it is likely to be one of the best-viewed Capital of Culture installations.
Described as “the most daring piece of public art ever commissioned in the UK”, it is seen as the jewel in the crown of the 2008 public art programme.
It was organised by the Culture Company and Liverpool Biennial, which was also responsible for bringing Antony Gormley’s “iron men” statues to Crosby beach.
Mr Wilson, one of Britain’s best-known sculptors, is renowned for drawing inspiration from the worlds of construction and engineering, and Turning The Place Over is no exception.
The cut-out, which measures eight metres across, rests on a rotator usually found in the shipping or nuclear industries.
The Culture Company believes “this astonishing feat of engineering will stun audiences. Passers-by will have a thrilling experience as the building rotates above them”.
Lewis Biggs, director of Liverpool Biennial, said: “It is a dream come true to be able to realise this fabulous artwork in Liverpool.
“Turning The Place Over will be remembered and celebrated for as long as people’s jaws are capable of dropping.”
Who is Richard Wilson?
RICHARD Wilson has exhibited his work all over the world for the past 20 years.
He represented Britain at Biennial festivals in Sydney, Sao Paulo and Venice, and has twice been nominated for the Turner Prize.
His most critically-acclaimed work was 20:50 - a sea of reflective sump oil permanently installed in the Saatchi Collection.
Arts editor Joe Riley says...
ART has come a long way since Michelangelo painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
But is this the UK’s most daring ever commission?
The spin merchants claim it is. I say it is not.
Rather it is 80% gimmick, 20% graft.
Inside-out public display is not new. Butchers do it every day in their shop windows with animal carcasses.
What can be said is that ANYTHING was better than the abandoned shell of the old Moorfields Yates’s Wine Lodge, once the shrine to Aussie Whites.
Richard Wilson – the artist not the actor alter ego for Victor Meldrew – has provided a jape in an otherwise ugly setting.
A building that had one foot in the grave has a new lease of life.
That is, until the novelty wears off, and we all wonder why we spent so much on so little.
WATCH video of Richard Wilson's display at Moorfields as it is prepared ahead of the grand launch - click here