10×10: Brixton’s Bright Sparks


Squire and Partners has created artworks for Article 25′s 10×10 Drawing the City charity auction every year since its inception. Partner Tim Gledstone created Brixton’s Bright Sparks for the 2016 event, after being allocated the site of Zaha Hadid’s Evelyn Grace Academy. The idea is a visual representation of Hadid’s unorthodox creative mind sparking the output of the student’s creative imaginations, rising from the charming but charred ashes of Brixton.


Inspiration came from the school with its dynamic architectural aesthetic, as well as a collection of Hadid’s early paintings which present fragments of built elements suspended in space. Representing a deconstruction of the primary components of the Academy into individual forms, the abstract shapes are held on diagonally orientated brass rods in a frozen state of suspension – unclear whether they are exploding or combining together. Views of the forms aligning together or pulling apart alter when seen from different angles, challenging ideas of perception.


The brass rods are embedded in a series of scorched wood blocks, using timber from the original 1906 Bon Marche Department Store nearby on Ferndale Road – currently under development as Squire and Partners’ new studio – giving cultural significance to the cyclical nature of commerce and regeneration which Brixton continually experiences. The burnt timber communicates a historical cultural high-point for Brixton, the troubled times of the 1980’s and the areas potential to regenerate and inspire creativity out of discourse.