Sunday, 17 August 2008

Modern art on the Regent's Canal

Modern artist, Yuko Shiraishi, was invited by Peer and Shoreditch Trust to make a semi-permanent public work for Regent’s Canal in De Beauvoir, Hackney. Shiraishi brought her long-standing interest in the psychological, social and physical effects of colour to this multi-use urban environment.

Working exclusively in her studio throughout the 1980s and 90s, Shiraishi made abstract paintings comprised of primarily two fields of colour that constituted an intense dialogue with light, tonal balance and harmony within the canvas frame. In the late 90s, she began to incorporate the frame within the architecture by embedding the paintings into the wall so that the picture plane was synonymous with their display surface.

For Regent’s Canal, Shiraishi has devised a colour scheme for the 70 meter wall adjacent the Kingsland Basin and parallel to Orsman Road, where she has had a studio for over 20 years. Pedestrians, cyclists and canal-users can see the changing nature of the work as it reacts to sunshine, evening light, rain and cloud, as well as the effect its reflection will have on the canal itself.