Fraser Brown MacKenna have a long history of collaborating with artists creating art in the public realm. We worked with sculptor and Slade Professor John Aiken detailing and specifying his projects in Derry, Belfast, Hertfordshire and in galleries across Europe. The sculptural work in Derry is a site-specific installation, responding to the dynamic site at Orchard Street, adjacent to New Gate Bastian.
The four granite blocks reflect the shape of the city’s four quarters – Ferryquay Street, Shipquay Street, Butcher Street and Bishop Street. The works, designed by artist John Aiken, are conceived as ‘portraits of the old city in shape and form’ – an abstract translation of Derry’s walled city. The multi-textured and multi-coloured granite is highly polished and sourced from Europe, Africa and South America; the diversity of sources representing the historic role of Derry as a port. The resulting forms, each of which weighs up to 20 tonnes, reflect the rich archaeological, commercial and cultural heritage of the city. The work was commissioned by the Department of the Environment in Northern Ireland through an open-submission sculpture competition.
FraserBrownMacKenna acted as the technical consultant to the artist throughout the project. The practice is a supporter and Board Member of Art & Architecture.