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Berlin artist creates interactive sculpture in Ilford town centre to bring communities together

PUBLISHED: 13:00 14 March 2018 | UPDATED: 13:03 14 March 2018

German artist Stefan Reiss working on his art installation in Ilford town centre

German artist Stefan Reiss working on his art installation in Ilford town centre

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An international artist hopes to break the ice between Redbridge’s diverse communities through an interactive installation in Ilford town centre.

German artist Stefan Reiss working on his art installation in Ilford town centre German artist Stefan Reiss working on his art installation in Ilford town centre

Sculptor Stefan Reiss, from Berlin, unveils his temporary digital art piece O.T. 968 in front of Redbridge Town Hall, in High Road, today, Thursday, March 15.

His work was commissioned by Vision Redbridge and visual arts organisation Space, as part of a £209,000 project funded by Arts Council England Libraries.

The Recorder spoke with Stefan to find out more about how Ilford has inspired and influenced his work.

He said: “I thought it might be interesting to create a space for people to go and meet regardless of their background.

German artist Stefan Reiss working on his art installation in Ilford town centre German artist Stefan Reiss working on his art installation in Ilford town centre

“My main interest in Ilford is that, walking through the pedestrian zone, I saw a lot of people walking around from diverse communities.

“But there wasn’t really a spot for them to meet each other.”

He added: “We have all these different communities; it is interesting to explore how and where they overlap.”

The piece takes its title from the German phrase Ohne Title, which means untitled, and is the 968th piece in the Stefan’s fast-growing archive of work.

German artist Stefan Reiss working on his art installation in Ilford town centre German artist Stefan Reiss working on his art installation in Ilford town centre

Since Tuesday, March 6, Stefan has worked hard, battling the elements with his team to build the structure from wooden beams.

The work combines drawing, painting, sculpture, projection and performance.

Using motion-detecting cameras, projected animations react to the movements of the onlooker.

“I wanted to make a cosy place, like a tent or a dome, where people could go in and feel good,” he added.

“We will have animations of various moving shapes, which will be dimmed and grey to start with.

“They will begin to move, become more colourful and active as the person enters into the installation.

“If the person moves around inside, the shapes will follow them like a stream of particles.”

O.T. 968 is free to view from dusk until dark and will remain in place until March 24.

Stefan will be talking about his creative process at Redbridge Central Library at 5pm on Saturday, March 17.

Register for the talk at www.eventbrite.co.uk

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