Welcome to The Pineapple - a New Town art blog
Welcome to the Pineapple! a new blog created to question, investigate and speculate on art, public or otherwise in new towns, in particular our home territory of Basildon. The blog is named after one of Basildon’s much loved pieces of public sculpture The Pineapple by William Mitchell (1977) which sadly went missing in 2012. The piece in corten steel was formed of hundreds of spikes around a globe measuring 2.5m x 2.5m and functioned as a fountain.
In an interview the sculptor gave more details of its history:
‘To explain why it was commissioned evokes the circumstances of the day… These new artworks… acted as landmarks and gave identity to places where infrastructure was being built – this was especially true in new towns.’ (1)
Its brick plinth is still located in the carpark of Trafford House the former Ford Headquarters, and its disappearance occurred as the office block was retrofitted into residential accommodation. Many speculations were made about where The Pineapple may be now or what fate was befallen, sold for scrap? installed in someones garden? but one thing is sure, without discourse about public art, its meaning and place within a town it becomes invisible.
Whether you love or hate Basildon’s public artworks, they are part of the fabric of the town; symbols and reference points from which to go about daily life. And as much as they are part of daily life, often are not questioned or reexamined.
In addition to existing artworks around the town, particularly as Basildon undergoes a huge regeneration programme, this blog can also regard new forms of artworks commissioned for the town, and look at how contemporary art practices coalesce with the urban environment and to what consequence.
If you are interested in contributing to the blog, all ideas are welcome. Feel free to contact me (editor) firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope this project to be insightful and critical, informative and optimistic, sweet and spiky much like its namesake.
(1) article 17th May 2014 https://3rd-dimensionpmsa.org.uk/fountain-news/2014-05-17-the-pineapple-vanishes