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Artists’ Playground 10.06.08

Written by 

words William Wiles

Carsten Höller, Ai Weiwei, Michael Craig-Martin, Tom Dixon and Zaha Hadid are among the artists and designers who have created works for Artists’ Playground, an exhibition in the grounds of Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire. This is the fourth annual contemporary art exhibition at Sudeley, and is curated by Elliott McDonald of the Hiscox Collection and Mollie Dent-Brocklehurst, formerly of the Gagosian, whose family lives in the castle.

The exhibition is themed around recreation and leisure, and there’s a focus on large-scale outdoor pieces. Jeppe Hein’s Small Mirrored Labyrinth, for instance, is straight out of a fairground’s funhouse. The funfair atmosphere is furthered by Richard Woods’ brightly coloured and stylised doors. Carsten Holler – who previously strayed into the playground by installing slides in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall last year – contributed Flying Machine, a kind of mechanised trapeze that looked like great fun but the iron fist of Health and Safety meant icon wasn’t able to have a go. Zaha Hadid’s Z-Stream slide looked a lot safer, partly because it didn’t seem to be steep enough to actually slide down. You’d think a practice with plenty of experience of ski jumps and cable cars would know better.

Artists’ Playground runs until 31 October. All the works included are for sale through auction house Phillips de Pury. For more on this story, see icon 062, in shops in early July.

images Duncan Ward

top image Jeppe Hein - Simplified Mirror Labyrinth 1

Kevin Francis Gray - Hangin' Tree

Ai Weiwei - Pillars

Lawrence Weiner - ON THE WATER IN THE POND

Zaha Hadid Architects - Z-stream

Piotr Uklanski - Untitled (The Thing)

Arik Levy - Moon Table

Henry Krokatsis - Ambo

Carsten Höller - Flying machine

Richard Woods - Lifestyle Sculpture #1-5

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