Sustainability, Art – Commissioned as part of the UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK festival, an ominous four-storey structure towers over the historic Tropicana on Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset, UK. SEE MONSTER features a 10-metre-high waterfall, a rooftop garden, a multi-level slide offering an alternative route through the structure, and a 6,000-piece kinetic installation forming the monster’s shimmering scales. [Until November 5. Free, no booking required – Map].
On the 35-metre tall and 450-tonne platform’s roof is the Garden Lab, where trees, plants, and grasses create a seaside micro-climate resilient to salty breezes and Atlantic gales. The installation also features kinetic wind sculptures, artist-designed experiments in sustainable energy generation, a seated amphitheatre, and, at its base, a broadcast studio.
SEE MONSTER’s roar, the waterfall, continually recirculates through the pools at its base. Winds moving through and animating the installations and garden prompt discussion about the science behind the Great British weather and how it can support a sustainable future.
“We are incredibly excited to be the first people in the world to reuse a structure in this way, with its potential to provide a blueprint for future global reuse projects.” Said Patrick O’Mahony, Creative Director and Founder of British studio NEWSUBSTANCE. “SEE MONSTER was made possible through cross-sector collaboration and the ambitious nature of the UNBOXED commission.”
Artist Trevor Lee combines art and renewable energy with WindNest, two rotating airborne pods generating clean energy through wind and solar technology. The installation powers the rooftop garden’s irrigation system. Kinetic sculptor Ivan Black has created two sculptures representing the sun and moon set in motion by the wind.
SEE MONSTER is one of ten major creative projects commissioned by the £ 120 million UNBOXED festival, dubbed the Brexit festival, celebrating creativity across the UK. The such politicised nickname has been blamed for failing to attract visitors. Indeed, by September 1, only 238,000 visitors had attended, 0.36% of the 66 million target.
Photography: courtesy of Ben Birchall, PA Media copyright 22/09/22. Film by Sodium Films.