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Housing ladder comes to life

February 24, 2017 0
Cartoonist Tim Hunkin is well known for his sculptures and installations, having featured his work on the Channel 4 series The Secret Life of Machines, a show in which he explains the inner workings of many household appliances by way of animations.  His latest exhibition, Under The Pier at Southwold will soon showcase his latest engineering masterpiece, The Housing Ladder.  Based on the popular phrase that describes the uphill struggle that faces first time buyers, the interactive artwork lets users climb on a ladder in order to get their character all the way to the top of the housing ladder and into their new home.There are two ladders in the piece, the one that the character climbs up and the one that the user has to climb to get their character to move up the housing ladder.  The u...
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Artistic Ladders

December 09, 2016 0
The humble ladder is an unassuming object, waiting patiently in the corner of a shed until it is needed, and then serving a unique purpose that no other object could until it is put back in the corner, quietly out of the way until next time.  The strength of a ladder and the simple, yet effective construction has inspired artists all over the world, including our old favourite Charlie Brouwer.  This time we have a really explosive artwork to share with you.Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang works with fireworks and gunpowder to create some stunning large scale artworks that are both fleeting yet highly memorable, including parts of the Olympic opening ceremony in Beijing.  He is said to 'paint with fireworks', organising spectacular displays in Shanghai.  His latest artwork, “Sky Ladder”...
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Ladders in Entertainment

November 14, 2016 0
When people think about ladders and what they are used for, the first thought that will come to many is their role as a tool. After all, the ladder is there to serve us through a range of situations – from painting to laying new roof tiles. It is not often entertainment that comes as the first thought. Not in things like film and television either, but in sports such as wrestling and arts like acrobatics. There are some fantastic examples of ladders being used in situations such as this, and they are highlighted here, in this article on ladders in entertainment.In Wrestling Popular sport in many countries, wrestling may not be the first you would associate with the use of ladders – unless they were being used in a violent attack against the opponent. However, there is actually a very ...
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A Lesson in Ladders: Brouwer Goes Back to School

May 26, 2015 0
We have looked at the artwork and installations of Charlie Brouwer quite a lot on this blog and that is probably because he is one of the only artists who works pretty much exclusively with ladders, turning them into sculptures and community art pieces. Recently he has been touring the USA working within different communities to create sculptures in his Rise Up series.  Each sculpture is created from ladders donated by the community and the ladders are returned after the installation ends. The idea is for the community to come together and be able to see their role in the local society represented by their ladder. The ladder is also a symbol of strength and hope, which Brouwer is keen to get across in his artwork. Brouwer's latest piece is in a deserted school house in Alum Ridge, Floyd Co...
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A Bit of Culture with Your Ladder?

April 30, 2015 0
One might not associate ladders with opera, but Rossini's La scala di seta is an operatic farce centred around a ladder. The title, translated, means 'the silken ladder', which is the main prop in this romantic story of an illicit relationship between Giulia, a woman who has been promised to another, and her lover Dorvil.  Every night Dorvil visits Giulia by climbing a ladder made of silk into her room. The action of the opera takes place in the bedroom and the ascent of the ladder each night is crucial to the plot, so when the piece was played at the Linbury Studio in The Royal Opera House, London, the set designers and director had to come up with a way in which the ladder could still be climbed, without having the set suspended in mid-air.  They came up with the idea of having the bedro...
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Life's a beach

December 18, 2014 0
After a fairly decent summer (certainly by UK standards!) and with a small hint that we still might get even warmer weather next summer, we felt inspired to look at how ladders can play an important part in our favourite sun-soaked destination, the beach!The first stop on the tour is in Sidmouth, Devon, where the local beach is called Jacob’s Ladder Beach.  The name comes from the set of steps (not technically a ladder) that provide access from Connaught Gardens at the top of the cliff.  There is also a level pathway from the main beach so everyone can access it.  The view from the top of the ladder over the bay is stunning, especially when the tide goes out and the sands below the shingle beach are exposed.Anyone for Ladder Toss? The one beach game that would be the perfect fit for ...
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Charlie Brouwer Climbs Ladders Again

October 26, 2014 0
Artist Charlie Brouwer has been featured in this blog before: he's the artist that creates installations and community art projects using donated ladders. He has been touring the USA as part of his 'Rising Together' series, which sees him visiting different towns and cities to create ladder-based artwork for the community.  Brouwer's installations are temporary: with all the ladders being donated by the local residents he can't leave the sculpture in place forever, because people need their ladders back! Brouwer is in Bluefield, Virginia, for the latest and tenth iteration of 'Rising Together' and has been donated all kinds of ladders from a bathroom step stool to a birdcage ladder.  Those without a ladder have been donating money to buy new ladders to be used in the piece.Ladder Donations...
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Brouwer's Got More Ladders!

September 23, 2014 0
We're starting to get a real soft spot for artist Charlie Brouwer: he's the one who does the ladder sculptures made up of donated and borrowed ladders from the community in which the installation stands. This time he is in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where he took part in a sculpture competition in both 1990 and 1993. Brouwer returns alone to stage the next iteration of his 'Rise Up' series in which he travels to different cities and towns across America, borrowing ladders from the community in order to construct a temporary sculpture where everyone who donates can see their crucial part in creating the artwork. Brouwer used to find working with galleries and museums antagonising, with a lot of forms to fill out and hoops to jump through in order to get funding or space, but since he has emb...
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The Prettiest Ladders You've Ever Seen!

July 05, 2014 0
Ladders are not the most graceful pieces of equipment to look at, even when they feature in fashion shoots (see earlier blog posts), but some jewellery designers have used them as a source of inspiration for their pieces. As someone in the team here keeps reminding me (they shall remain nameless!), it’s almost time to start thinking about Christmas gifts and these delicate ladder themed jewels can make ideal presents.As well as being the creative idea behind pieces of jewellery, the ladder has been used, on a smaller scale, as a way of storing necklaces to stop them getting tangled up. Other items of jewellery can be hung on the ladder and it makes them easier to find. A romantic ladder themed gift might be a jewellery ladder with a ladder themed necklace hanging from it (not that we’r...
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Lyrical Ladders Part Two

July 04, 2014 0
It's been a while but previously we have looked at songs that use humble ladders as a source of lyrical and thematic inspiration.  A lot of the songs that fitted this criteria were love songs, which used the idea of the climb up a ladder as a metaphor for a struggle in love, or for the journey that a couple takes in order to get together.  However, there are also many songs that use the ladder concept in different ways, some to signify difference, some to signify struggles of a different kind and some that draw very loose parallels between the concept of a ladder and the other themes in the song.Ladder In My Tights One such track that uses the idea of a ladder to show the celebration of difference is Amy Studt’s Ladder in my Tights.  The song is aimed at teenage girls, and concentrat...
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