Vauxhall teams up with artist for upside-down Corsa sculpture

Vauxhall has teamed up with British artist Alex Chinneck to reveal a gravity-defying new sculpture at London’s Southbank Centre.

Turning the idea of a parking space on its head, the sculpture suspends a new Vauxhall Corsa 15 feet in the air on 15 metres of ‘peeled back’ arching tarmac with no visible support.

Constructed virtually overnight

The sculpture was produced by Chinneck in conjunction with a crack team of Vauxhall engineers and metalworkers to create the unique piece, which is on display beside the London Eye, virtually overnight.

Alex said: “With an effortlessly curling road I hoped to transcend the material nature of tarmac and stone, giving these typically inflexible materials an apparent fluidity.

“Vauxhall Motors allowed me a great amount of creative freedom and this collaboration offered my studio an exciting platform to explore new areas of engineering and fabrication.”

After creating a range of challenging artworks like ‘A Pound of Flesh for 50p’, where he created a melting house, Alex wanted to create an installation with sculptural impact, complementing the Corsa’s design.

“I see sculpture as the physical reinterpretation of the material world around us and so by introducing fictional narratives into familiar scenarios,” he said. “I try to make everyday situations as extraordinary as they can be.”

Part of the challenge in creating the artwork was keeping the simple concept but trying to make it work structurally, technically and logistically with the complex manipulation of concealed steel.

‘A small car with a big heart’

Mark Adams, Vauxhall’s head of design, said: “The installation certainly celebrates the new Corsa as a ball of energy – a small car with a big heart.

“Alex Chinneck’s work is astounding, he’s an amazing British sculptor who creates illusionary structures with the most in-depth engineering and design. Above all, the astonishing rip curl embodies the fun people have driving the much-loved Vauxhall Corsa.”

Working in conjunction with documentary director Chris Tubbs, Vauxhall also created a behind-the-scenes film which offers insights into the project’s development, plus footage of its construction.

The sculpture is on display in London until Wednesday 25th February, while the new Vauxhall Corsa is available to buy from Perrys dealerships now, priced from £8,995.