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.