Paul Cocksedge draws on London’s ‘great mix of cultures’ for installation

British designer Paul Cocksedge created the Loop, a large sculpture made of steel and metallic fabric that hangs from the ceiling in the London office building The Rowe.

Designed to creatively occupy the building’s lobby, the art installation consists of large rings of steel and metallic fabric reaching 5.5 meters in length.

Loop hangs from ceiling inside Rowe office building

Resembling a single piece of thin metal fabric, Loop’s design was inspired by the space surrounding The Rowe.

The project is located in Whitechapel, a culturally diverse neighborhood in east London known for its clothing and textile production.

Loop art installation at The Rowe
Made of metal and fabric

“When you arrive on Whitechapel Road as you enter the city, it’s a true display of London’s tremendous cultural mix,” Cocksedge told Dezeen.

“You take a look at the past, the present and the future, and you see that especially in Whitechapel,” he added.

“There’s such an explosion of colour, texture and pattern, with things displayed in the display cases and counters and dangling pieces of sparkly jewellery. It’s a real melting pot of materiality, color and culture.”

Inside of Rowe with loop setup
Paul Cocksedge drew on Whitechapel’s background for the installation.

The metallic materials and colors of the installation are also a nod to the building’s past as a bell foundry.

Cocksedge worked with a UK-based company to construct loops, one of which also functions as a seat, creating a hybrid fabric made from structural cotton.

This acts as a load-bearing element and is sandwiched between two thin layers of metallic colored cotton.

“We wanted the person to be the focal point of the artwork, which was a challenge for manufacturing,” Cocksedge said. “We needed a material that was both decorative and structural.”

Close-up of The Loop installation at The Rowe
Fabric loops can support visitors’ weight

Steel elements support fabric loops to support the weight of visitors. The interactive aspect was an important part of the design, as the lobby of the building was open for anyone to enter and see the statue.

“Public art is generally untouchable,” Cocksedge said. “But sometimes when you’re in a public space, letting people get involved adds a whole different dimension and creates an emotional and hopefully more memorable experience.”

Artist Paul Cocksedge at The Rowe
The installation is 5.5 meters at its longest point.

Alongside the Loop, The Rowe is home to another large-scale art installation by London designer Yinka Ilori.

Cocksedge’s previous work includes another installation in the shape of a loop, the Time Loop in Hong Kong and an undulating common bench in London.

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