A little late but it's time to welcome in 2012 and take a last look back at 2011. And from all the places I visited and things I saw last year my favourite was right here in Edinburgh, thanks to Martin Creed and The Fruitmarket Gallery.
The Scotman steps were transformed into 'Work No. 1059' as part of Creed's exhibition Down Over Up, completed a year after the exhibition opened.
Martin Creed, with his smart response to public space, his ability to engage with materials and their surroundings, and his understanding of the creative possibilities embedded in the act of going up and down steps, seemed an obvious choice for the commission. From the beginning, he considered the Steps as a thoroughfare, proposing to resurface them with different and contrasting marbles from all over the world, each step and landing a different colour. The idea turns around a familiar material (though not one normally associated with Edinburgh) used in a familiar way. It acts as a sampler, introducing 104 different marbles, putting the material as well as the visitor through its paces. Creed himself has described the work as a microcosm of the whole world – stepping on the different marble steps is like walking through the world.
Work No. 1059, though architecturally a complex piece of stone work and engineering that took two years to plan and achieve, is an artwork that is made and remade every time a viewer walks up or down it.
The Fruitmarket Gallery, 2011
Hard landscaping at it's best and an art installation (future landmark?) to boot. Brilliant. I loved it.