Rana Begum: Cultural Conversations

A new and innovative outdoor work by Bangladeshi-British artist Rana Begum is currently installed at King’s Cross, marking the start of a new series of public commissions for the area. No.700 Reflectors, Cubitt Sq. 2016 occupies the full length of Lewis Cubitt Square, measuring 50 metres long and three and a half metres high.

The sculpture creates a dynamic interaction with viewers as they pass by- 35,000 reflectors work to create a continuous surface of colour and form, which is constantly in shifting and in flux. Complex 3D surfaces and vividly saturated colours bring a unique and original sensation to the busy urban environment.

Begum’s work is part of The King’s Cross Project, a scheme consisting of a three-year commissioned programme for the surrounding buildings and public spaces of the iconic capital, as curated by Tamsin Dillon and Rebecca Heald. Growing business and residential populations, catalysed by the almost nine million visitors who enjoy the area every year, the district is not only the heart of London, but also a gateway to the North East of the UK, to Europe and the rest of the world.

The piece occupies a liminal space between disciplines: it hovers between op-art and minimalism, between sculpture and painting. Intricate geometric patterns are present in the work, as seen in traditional Islamic art and culture- portraying the inspiration Begum finds in her heritage. Above all, the artist’s work reveals her interest in the city,: in its complexity and transience, in chance encounters and the vast number of people who visit the area.

Speaking about the project, Begum, notes: “I’m really excited for the work to be installed at Cubitt Square, to see how it interacts with its environment and in particular how it changes with the light throughout the day. It’s such a pleasure to create something for a space I pass through very frequently and I hope it gives pleasure to visitors and passers-by alike.” The artist’s work  creates an endlessly engaging experience due to constantly changing lights and colours, that generate a unique vision for each person.

The King’s Cross Project is an ongoing programme to bring visual culture to the centre of London, find out more at www.kingscross.co.uk

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1. No.700 Reflectors, Cubitt Sq. 2016 (2016).  Courtesy of Bolton & Quinn