More information on Daniel Sturgis
More information on Chris Barr
In November 2004 Axis relocated to the Round Foundry Media Centre in Holbeck Urban Village. Once an industrial site, Holbeck is now the centre of an urban regeneration project lead by Leeds City Council and Yorkshire Forward.
In Autumn 2005, to celebrate the first anniversary of the move, Axis invited a selection of artists to submit proposals for a site-specific artwork for the new Axis office. We invited a broad group of artists working across different media painting, sculpture, and installation, artists not easily associated with 'office' or 'corporate' art. The Axis office space is a white-walled space measuring 1505 x 755 cm and is partitioned into two areas with a team of 13 staff.
The brief was to:
- Use the walls and/or office space
- Consider the office space as a whole and also consider the individual clusters
- Enhance the office architecture to create a comfortable, inspiring and uplifting space
- Consider durability issues and be of low maintenance
The invited artists were: Alexis Harding,
London-based artist Daniel Sturgis was selected as the overall winner. However, Bristol-based artist Chris Barr's proposal was very popular with the Axis staff therefore we decided to commission a smaller version of his proposal.
The standard of proposals was extremely high and our decision to select Daniel Sturgis and Chris Barr was a tough one. However, the two artworks complement each other well and have certainly enhanced the office space, both spatially and as a working environment.
Daniel Sturgis produced a series of six medium-scale digital prints which build on the forms in the painting 'Abstract Logic' (2005). In his paintings Sturgis employs a repertoire of pre-designed shapes, colours and repetitions that suggest or hint at various readings: important are the associations which people bring to these abstract forms.
The prints are positioned in a series on four of the walls across the office. The muted coloured forms sit well alongside the grey exposed girders and office filing cabinets and offer a moment of reverie and rest for the eye away from the strain of the computer screen. Each print is identical except for the positioning of tiny red dots decorations or perhaps representations or people within a land or landscape. More akin to stills in an animation than the traditional print, the works ask questions about movement, systems, intuition, character and abstraction. Furthermore, their seriality brings a calm clarity to an active and sometimes cluttered working environment.
We commissioned Chris Barr to make a smaller-scaled version of his original proposal designed specifically for the reading area. Barr's wall-based assemblage of delicate graphite drawing and sculptural motifs is a playful and ambiguous proposition for an Axis organisational insignia and greets us as we walk in through the door.
Both of the commissions are site specific and were installed by the artists in liaison with Axis staff. The commissions were made possible by funding from Arts Council England's Grants for the Arts scheme.
How to commission contemporary artwork as a gift for home or the office