MILAN — In a final farewell, British designer Paul Cocksedge dug up hundreds of cylindrical cores from the concrete floor of his London studio after he was evicted to make room for a property development. The mined material became the source for a new furniture series EXCAVATION: Evicted (April 4 – 9, 2017), Cocksedge’s project with Friedman Benda and Beatrice Trussardi.
Cocksedge transformed the excavated material into five distinct furniture pieces, each documenting, commemorating and preserving not only his own time there, but the building’s own history. As Cocksedge notes, he aimed to “celebrate and release the tension and creative energy that’s shaped the space.”
“Wanting to commemorate my time there, I decided to delve further into the building and uncover what was underneath the surface the studio had inhabited for the past twelve years. After carrying out extensive scans of the foundations, I drilled down into the floor to uncover the levels hiding underneath.”
Cocksedge’s core sample findings included the initial concrete of the floor hiding Victorian bricks left over from the building’s former life as a stable.
Not merely a response to his own situation, the project evokes the social, political and cultural upheavals affecting many strata of contemporary society across the globe, including Britain’s post-Brexit reality and increasing property costs.
“Intended as the last creative work to come out of the space, the pieces celebrate London’s reputation as a home for creativity – a status that is increasingly under threat as artists are displaced from their studios by property developers and rising rents. By creating pieces from the very fabric of one of London’s disappearing creative spaces, I hope to remind of the transient nature of both creative workers, and the places they inhabit. My Hackney studio will also accompany me to my new workspace, in the form of a work made from retrieved material.”
See the excavation process in action in this video:
About the Artist: Paul Cocksedge was born in London in 1978, and received an MFA from the Royal College of Art in Production Design, and a BFA in Industrial Design from Sheffield Hallam University. In 2014, Cocksedge was the recipient of the Moet Hennessy PAD London annual prize for best design for his Poised table. His work has been exhibited internationally and can be found in major public collections worldwide, including MoMA, New York; V&A, London; London Design Museum, UK; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and the Museum of Arts and Design, NY.
Text (edited) from Friedman Benda
Do you love or loathe these works of contemporary ceramic design? Let us know in the comments.