richard wilson slipstream heathrow

Richard Wilson has won the Marsh Award for Excellence in Public Sculpture 2014 with Slipstream at Heathrow Airport.

Richard wilson
Richard Wilson
photo courtesy of Miyako Narita

Congratulations to Richard Wilson on winning the Marsh Award for Excellence in Public Sculpture 2014. The award is offered by The PMSA and Award sponsors, The Marsh Christian Trust, for a sculpture installed in a public place within the last two years. It acknowledges and commends excellence, increases awareness and discussion of public sculpture and celebrates new work that demonstrates originality, aesthetic quality and sensitivity to its site.

Slipstream was commissioned by Heathrow for the new Terminal 2, the Queen’s Terminal, building which was designed by architect Luis Vidal. Measuring 78 metres in length and weighing 77 tonnes, it is a spectacular sculpture.

Many of Richard Wilson’s works are closely related to their location and Slipstream’s sensitivity to site is no exception. Heathrow is a place of movement with travellers coming and going and aeroplanes taking off and landing. Wilson wanted to convey this movement in his sculpture and also a sense of velocity and acceleration. He had the ingenious idea of representing the shape made by a small stunt aeroplane as it moves through space, by making a solid sculpture from the void created by the aeroplane’s displacement, and so Slipstream was created.

wilsonslipstream
Slipstream, April 2014, plywood and aluminium, length 78m.,
weight 77 tonnes, Heathrow Terminal 2, Hounslow, photo
courtesy David Levene

Slipstream will be seen by 20 million people a year and is set to be the most viewed public sculpture in the UK.






Main image: Slipstream, April 2014, plywood and aluminium, length 78m., Heathrow Terminal 2, Hounslow, photo: courtesy of Heathrow Airports Ltd.