The Question Mark
Art or 3-dimensional graffiti?
Artists Ben Langlands and Nikki Bell have spent the past two years
designing and creating the two-part Question Mark public art work
for University Campus Suffolk.
Two-part? The physical sculpture is a four metre high edifice in
Portuguese marble and Uruguayan granite on the piazza in front of
the UCS Waterfront Building. The second part is an LED light display
on the concrete chimney towering over the Northern Campus (the
old Suffolk College site). The two parts are designed to link the
separate halves of the campus. The Question Mark is a reminder to
students to question everything.
Ben Langlands and Nikki Bell met whilst at university in 1977
and have been working together ever since. They have been
commissioned to create some important artwork worldwide
including a Turner nominated design for Eurostar's l0th birthday.
They have exhibited at Tate Britain and Tate Modem, the
Serpentine and Whitechapel Galleries, New York's Museum of
Modem Art and at a host of other national galleries of modem
art. They have a particular theme of using text and abbreviations
including those used by international airports (LHR, JFK etc) and
on Eurostar (LON, PAR) so the Question Mark theme for UCS was
simply a development.
The installation of the Waterfront sculpture has created a lot of
media interest and debate about what art, particularly public art,
should do. Given that all buildings of this size need to contribute
financially a percentage to art, then UCS and the Arts Council
should be congratulated.