Cooking with the Concrete Foundation

Behind the scenes images of the creation of Jim Lambie’s concrete path in Glasgow, with Russ Coleman and Kirk Teasdale talking through how they constructed it from coloured concrete

In February, I was outside a 12 step recovery meeting talking to sculptor Russ Coleman of the The Concrete Foundation about a project he had been asked to build in Glasgow for the artist Jim Lambie. It was a 100 x 3 metre path based on a record collection on its side – on the ‘spine’ of each record would be a band name and the date they played at the nearby Barrowland Ballroom venue. “A bit like the Yellow Brick Road crossed with Paul Smith … but on acid.”

The job needed taking from a digital sketch of an idea to a finished design and then the whole path needed breaking up (digitally) and collating for a succession of different processes. At the same time, there would need to be a parallel re-ordering of the confusion created by the production of 22,000 glyphs in nine different fonts across 14 colours. Russ asked if I would like to help. I said I would and I did.

We created a precise and simple set of visual steps and processes that aided Russ with the production of the artwork. The whole project became a ballet between a team of people: Each person and process was reliant on the work done before and after a particular section was completed. The graphic roadmaps and lists helped maintain the organised chaos. It was, we thought, a bit like baking a cake without any instructions.

My experience was and continues to be a wonderful education and adventure in concrete. The following is a selection of images gathered during the building of Jim Lambie’s Untitled pavement project at Barrowlands Park.

Kirk Teasdale
Enough Design


Kirk Teasdale
Ingredients
14 years comprehensive school education.
1 year art foundation.
3 year degree in graphic design.
16 years design and art direction.
10 years in the wilderness.
7 years living a life beyond the wildest of dreams.

Russ Coleman
Ingredients
16 years comprehensive school education.
2 years training city and guilds, bricklaying and construction.
9 years letter carver at father’s monumental masonry business.
10 years practical involvement with youth theatre.
4 years arts education. 
21 years public arts practice.

Instructions
Mix all your ingredients well so that all edges blur and one ingredient infuses the other.Place all the ingredients in a workshop situation, add people and projects and materials.Actively stir things about. Leave the dust to settle. Sweep up afterwards.

 

Untitled 2014 by Jim Lambie, coloured concrete, 103m × 3m. Public Artwork in Barrowland Park, Glasgow. Courtesy of the Artist and The Modern Institute/Toby Webster Ltd, Glasgow. Photographs of the path on the last page of Monograph by Stephen Hosey. All other photography by Kirk Teasdale. The Barrowland Park is a new greenspace in Glasgow – bounded by Gallowgate, London Road and Moir Street.

A selection of Jim Lambie’s work is at themoderninstitute.com. Kirk Teasdale is creative director at Enough Design. Russ Coleman’s website is at russcoleman.com.

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