The new play structures designed by Eva Rothschild are made up of vibrantly coloured geometric cubes, influenced by the colourful objects of the postmodern 1980s design collective, the Memphis Group.
The colours are non-naturalistic and draw from Eva Rothschild’s own palette and the vibrant colours of the Memphis Group, a distinct circle of designers from Milan, Italy, who were active from 1981 to 1988. The group designed colourful postmodern furniture, lighting, fabrics, carpets, ceramics, glass and metal objects. Rothschild has a particular interest in the wider practice of the group’s founder, Ettore Sottass (1917–2007), who explored the social, cultural and technical implications of architecture and design on the way people live and interact. She says of the new playground for Becontree, ‘Sculpture as a playground should be activated through the body, through movement , irreverence, imagination and joy.”
Eva Rothschild achieved international acclaim for her practice which involves both conceptual and socio-political ideas alongside traditional approaches to making sculpture. Her sculptures are often visually reminiscent of minimalist sculpture, in that it is assertive, formal and chromatic. However, she shifts this Minimalist register of her pieces by including materials that hold specific associations, such as leather fringing and Perspex as well as surprising objects such as crystal balls and posters, so that her works transcend their physical limitations and hover between representation and symbolism as well as their form.
Her sculpture series tend to function independently, each has an individual appearance, however the relationships between each piece is central to their evolution in the process of making, as is their final placement in aspace. This way of working also points to Rothschild’s ongoing enquiry into the relationship between drawing and sculpture, between two and three dimensions as well as materialism and form.
Co-commissioned by Create London and the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham (LBBD). This commission is funded by LBBD’s Strategic Community Infrastructure Levy.