Alex Chinneck, one of the UK’s most innovative artists, has unveiled a brilliant new sculpture at Circus Street – joining a whole host of specially-commissioned pieces from top British artists.

Standing 25 metres high, the spiralling sculpture ‘A Spring in Your Step’ takes the form of a spiral staircase at its base, but as it rises upwards the structure uncoils and explodes outwards as three steel ribbons burst apart over Circus Street’s central courtyard. It’s arresting, eye-catching and entertaining – Chinneck’s most ambitious and complex sculpture to date.

The four-tonne sculpture took three years to complete and is constructed of galvanised steel – but its form defies the weight of the materials and their solid construction, creating a sense of movement and interplay with the space and light. This is typical of Chinneck’s style. Uniting the disciplines of art, design and architecture, he challenges our understanding of familiar objects and materials to create surreal sculptures.

“My work often takes archetypal forms (such as buildings, pylons and post boxes) and transforms them with the hope of making something familiar feel momentarily extraordinary,” Chinneck told Creative Review. “I think sculpture is the reconfiguration of the material world around us, so I suppose my work attempts to do this literally, at times playfully, and always (I hope) with positive effect.” 

A Bullet from a Shooting Star – Greenwich, London

Movement and light

Chinneck’s flagship projects include an inverted electricity pylon as part of a trail of public art on Greenwich Peninsula, London, and an unzipping building produced for Milan Design Week. Other works include a sliding house in Margate; a hovering stone building on Covent Garden and a series of twisted post boxes dotted around London, Sheffield and Margate.

Chinneck’s work is one of a number of sculptures celebrating art, movement and dance at Circus Street. Nearby is a huge mural of stampeding horses by Brighton-based street artist AROE and Penis Bollards by the internationally-acclaimed Antony Gormley, a former teacher at Brighton College of Art.