Over a nine year period, a series of contemporary art projects will appear on the buildings and public spaces at King’s Cross, celebrating the area’s heritage and its future. With a rich tradition of creative activity and many world-class cultural organisations based in the area, the art programme has been central to the development of King’s Cross since work began.
The role of art was identified in the King’s Cross Central Public Realm Strategy in 2004. The strategy recognised that activated, animated, welcoming public spaces are critical to the success of the development and that public space should be conceived as a series of well-connected areas, well integrated with the surrounding city, inclusive and accessible.
Since 2006, a range of projects from the small and experimental to the large and ambitious have been achieved. Some have been led by others and hosted at King’s Cross, while others were initiated by the King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership in conjunction with partners.
Early presentations include High Wire by the London-based artist Catherine Yass, commissioned by Artangel and Scattered Crowd by William Forsythe, commissioned by Sadlers Wells; a performance of In Time by London Sinfonietta and an Arts Council England residency programme to work with the artists Ellie Reid, 2008/9 and Graham Hudson, 2009/10.
Michael Pinsky and Stéphanie Delcroix were appointed as the curators for the first three years of the arts programme. Their programme RELAY was inspired by the transformation of the area.
Projects included IFO, a 9-metre high art installation by French artist Jacques Rival, Of Soil and Water: King’s Cross Pond Club by Ooze(Eva Pfannes and Sylvain Hartenberg) and Marjetica Potrč, Black Maria by Richard Wentworth and GRUPPE, and the vast artworkAcross the Buildings by Felice Varini.
The King’s Cross Project
In June 2016, Tamsin Dillon and Rebecca Heald were appointed as the new curators at King’s Cross. Working in a three year scope, they are heading up The King’s Cross Project, an ambitious plan for art commissions across the 67 acre neighbourhood.
The first commission for The King’s Cross Project series is No.700 Reflectors, a spectacular new artwork by Bangladeshi-British artist Rana Begum.