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Empty house turned into work of art

By Isle of Thanet Gazette  |  Posted: September 20, 2013

By Jodie Nesling jodie.nesling@KRNmedia.co.uk

  • IMPRESSION: How the sculpture will look

  • DERELICT: The house before work began

  • CREATIVE: Alex Chinneck

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A HOUSE in Cliftonville is to be transformed into a work of art after standing empty for 11 years.

Sculptor Alex Chinneck, 28, has nearly finished the work, which has involved peeling the façade from the rest of the four-storey building in Godwin Road and adding curved bricks, windows and doors to create the illusion of it "slipping off" the house.

Mr Chinneck, from Hackney, approached Thanet council's arts and heritage project manager, Sophie Jeffrey, after coming up with the concept 18 months ago.

He told the Isle of Thanet Gazette: "The best part of this process was discovering the building. It was perfect for what I wanted to achieve. This piece will add to the conversation and energy around Margate at the moment. The area has really embraced arts culture."

The Chelsea College of Art graduate wants residents to experience the sculpture and to attract people to Cliftonville.

He said: "This piece intentionally does not take itself too seriously, unlike me!"

The project has been partly funded by Arts Council England and all the materials were provided free by building manufacturers.

The house will remain as a sculpture for a year before being used for social housing.

Councillor Clive Hart, leader of Thanet council, said: "This kind of innovative art will encourage and attract people from all over the world to Thanet, which is a very exciting prospect for us.

"Thanet is a haven for the arts and welcomes people world-wide to see its stunning and picturesque sceneries and sunsets."

Mr Chinneck's sliding house artwork is called From The Knees Of My Nose To The Belly Of My Toes.

There will be a grand opening on Sunday, September 29 at 12pm.

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