New York has been hosting an acclaimed sculptor from Loughbrickland over the past month.
Mark Revels, 36, together with Brendan Jamison, 35, also from Northern Ireland, have completed a giant sugar cube sculpture installation, the first artwork to be installed in the new Sugar Hill Museum of Art and Storytelling, Broadway Housing Communities, Harlem.
The exhibition made its debut in Belfast at the Royal Ulster Academy of Arts, Ulster Museum, from October 2013 to January 2014. Attracting over 70,000 visitors, the New York Sugar Metropolis is expected to be an even bigger draw for the local neighbourhood and the international art audience.
Jamison and Revels have created the first quarter of the city but now it is in the hands of the public to complete. From children to pensioners, thousands of participants will collaborate to build an imaginary city of the future with a quarter of a million sugar cubes.
Mark said: “We have enjoyed responding to the architecture of New York, especially the iconic bridges and dramatic skyscrapers. It has also been an opportunity to introduce elements of my current research into virus structures. For the sugar city, the viruses I wish to spread, to go ‘viral’ with, are that of positivity, community spirit and fun.”
The New York Sugar Metropolis exhibition has been organised by a former Guggenheim curator, Manon Slome, who, since 2009, has been President and Chief Curator of No Longer Empty, a not-for-profit arts organisation dedicated to rejuvenating empty spaces and neglected neighbourhoods in New York City.
The art projects engage local communities to embrace the power of creativity to improve their physical surroundings and enhance social interaction.
The former Banbridge High pupil has also just completed a project in Hollywood, Los Angeles. Having been in New York for just under a month Mark and Brendan were just days from returning home after the completion of the NYC project when they were contacted by a film company in Hollywood who had seen their Belfast Sugar Metropolis and were looking to commission them to create a large scale sugar sculpture for use in a television commercial.
Last year Mark bought back his grandfather’s house in Loughbrickland, which was sold after his passing in 2002. He is in the process of converting the old barn in the property so it will soon be a large scale studio. “This is where I will be based when I am not travelling abroad with various projects,” said Mark.
Get updates on Mark’s work at www.markrevels.com