Both Sides Now was an experimental two-day sculpture workshop using concrete to explore the architectural proposition as an approach to sculptural production.
Drawing on the typology of domes and vaults, structures distinguished by their capacity to exploit forces of compression, 12 ambitious artists worked together to construct a section of a vault in concrete as a way of demonstrating an engineering principle and realising a sculptural potential. Neither maquette nor building, the specific proposition was somewhere in between: ambiguous in scale, yet subject to real structural forces and constructed in ‘real’ architectural materials. The weekend culminated in the testing of the sculpture, a performance that itself engaged both the bodily and an element of risk. Would the science behind the concrete mix and the engineering principles around compressive load hold true when put to the very real test of taking a human load?
Both Sides Now was led by Ken Wilder, an artist, trained architect and head of Interior and Spatial Design at Chelsea College of Art and Design, University of the Arts London. Over 30 strong applications were received. The 12 selected artists were: Simona Brinkman, Marc Cowan, Pablo de Laborde Lascaris, Tom Leahy, Gloria Lin, Tessa Lynch, Julia Parkinson, Scott Schwager, Nina Shen-Poblete, Karen Tang, Georgina Wesley and Jonny Williamson.
In support of the more practical learning of Both Sides Now, an open, public lecture was held at ACAVA, W10, to contextualise the specific skills acquired through participating in the workshop and to introduce the more theoretical aspects of the weekend’s endeavours to a wider audience.