Studio Myerscough has installed a series of swings at the grade II*-listed Orangery in Wakefield, West Yorkshire
The 10m-high interactive installation at the home of Beam, the arts and architecture charity, includes a series of brightly coloured swings and moving seats.
The momentum created by the movement of the swings makes signs and banners move overhead in an attempt to ‘encourage play, creativity and inspiration’.
The installation is a scaffold structure with fabricated metal swings, aluminium mobiles, wooden hand-painted seats and signs.
The designer’s view
‘Wakefield’s cultural history and the changing role the Orangery has played to the local community since the 18th century was fundamental in our approach to Beam’s Playful City commission. Learning that the Orangery has been occupied by schools at various times, the last being 1930s to 1957 we felt a the site had a strong connection with play and held many memories. This led us on to thinking of long summer days, children’s laughter and playground chants.
‘This led to Morag making a sketch and Luke writing a poem. As we felt strongly that the piece needed to connect with the local community and to record their memories and experience of play we held a poetry workshop with the local youth theatre group Yewtree and between us we wrote a poem called ‘Dirty knees & Mucky faces’.
‘The words were handpainted on to the 72 double-sided signs by Morag in her studio and the wind mobiles fabricated by Luke in his studio.
‘Developing the patterns on the swing seats we were inspired by Wakefield’s long history of textile manufacturing and combining this with the thoughts of British summer traditions especially the use of the iconic ‘picnic rug’ which to us epitomised the informal, social, shared essence of play to all ages. Which lead to a paper weaving workshop with local residents and the results have been combined in the final patterns for the swings.’
Location The Orangery garden, Wakefield
Type of project art commission
Artists Morag Myerscough & Luke Morgan
Funding Arts Council
Build contractor Raise the Roof