Newsubstance transforms an oil rig into one of the UK’s largest art installations

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Newsubstance transforms an oil rig into one of the UK’s largest art installations

NEWSUBSTANCE transforms an oil rig into a 35m high public art installation in Weston-super-Mare, UK. The mega-platform features a 10-meter-high waterfall, a wild garden, and a 6,000-piece kinetic installation, including works by Ivan Black and artwork by Trevor Lee. From September 24 to November 5, 2022, ‘SEE MONSTER’ will welcome audiences to inspire conversations about reuse, renewable energy and the UK’s beautiful weather, as part of the UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK festival.

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Courtesy of Ben Birchall

Transforming an industrial structure into a public facility suitable for visitors is an unprecedented feat of engineering. Created by Leeds-based creative studio NEWSUBSTANCE and backed by North Somerset Council, the 450-tonne rig was transported by sea on a barge the size of a football pitch and lifted by crane overhead. top of the dike on pre-built feet. Patrick O’Mahony, Creative Director and Founder of NEWSUBSTANCE, said: “We are extremely excited to be the first in the world to reuse a structure in this way, with its potential to provide a template for future global reuse projects. »


The project will include four publicly accessible levels animated by a 10-meter-high waterfall. The “roar of SEE MONSTER” will continually recirculate through the pools at its base, and the impact of the weather will be seen and heard as the wind moves through the facilities and garden. The ‘Cascade Experiment’ aims to spark a discussion about the science behind Britain’s beautiful weather and how it can support a sustainable future.


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The garden will feature nine-meter-tall plants, grasses and trees that are resistant to salty breezes and gales from the Atlantic. The WindNest installation, designed by artist Trevor Lee in collaboration with Land Art Generator Initiative, combines art and renewable energy and includes two rotating airborne modules, generating clean energy through wind and solar technology that will power the Garden Lab’s irrigation system.

As part of the 6,000-piece kinetic installation forming the scales of the monster, sculptor Ivan Black created two pieces depicting the sun and moon set in motion by the wind. Crafted from aluminum, they’re built to withstand the elements, especially the corrosive salt of the sea air, and inspire wonder at how well they work.

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Courtesy of Ben Birchall

SEE MONSTER reminds us how our industrial history has shaped our climate and how we can transform our future by repurposing infrastructure such as oil and gas platforms. (…) is an opportunity to see and hear about the kind of solutions and possible futures we can create together and to be amazed and amazed by the spectacular sights and sounds of the weather. — Dr. Ella Gilbert, Climate Science Advisor for SEE MONSTER

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Courtesy of Ben Birchall

SEE MONSTER is one of 10 PROJECTS in UNBOXED, a UK festival dedicated to science, technology, engineering, arts and maths to celebrate and inspire creativity. NEWSUBSTANCE also commissioned the opening ceremonies of Expo 2020 Dubai and spectraa seven-story pavilion for the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival.

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