May 2 - A special illuminated artwork titled RUN, which measures nine metres high and weighs over 30 tonnes, has been switched on here to mark the completion of 26 new art installations on the Olympic Park in Stratford.
Created by internationally renowned artist Monica Bonvicini, RUN is the largest standalone artwork on the Olympic Park and is situated on the plaza of the 6,500-capacity Copper Box which will host handball and the fencing discipline of modern pentathlon during the Olympics as well as goalball during the Paralympics.
The use of the word RUN reflects sporting references in popular music titles, including Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run", Neil Young's "Running Dry" and The Velvet Underground's "Run Run Run".
The RUN letters are constructed from steel and reflective glass to produce a mirrored effect during the day and a playful glow at night, achieved through the innovative use of more than 300 metres of energy efficient LED lighting reflecting off a series of internal curved mirrors.
It is one of 26 artworks that have been put together via the Olympic Delivery Authority's (ODA) Art in the Park programme to create a series of colourful and original pieces.
They will not only be seen by millions of spectators this summer, but by visitors for years to come when the Olympic Park is reopened as Britain's largest urban park in over a century.
"It's exciting to see the work finally start on site after being awarded the commission in summer 2010," said Bonvicini, who has been a professor of sculpture and performative art at The Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, Austria, since 2003.
"RUN is already blending in perfectly in the landscape, avoiding monumentality through the mirroring of the surroundings.
"At night the psychedelic light reflections will illuminate the work in an exciting, elegant and witty way, reflecting the great liveliness of London."
The project marks the first time that arts and culture initiatives have been built into an Olympic Park from the outset.
A total of 24 of the 26 arts installations on the Olympic Park are permanent while RUN is one of the two largest arts commissions alongside Ackroyd & Harvey's entrance marker trees (pictured below).
Ackroyd & Harvey's trees are a major public artwork which comprise of ten semi mature trees, each with a bespoke metal ring, weighing up to half a tonne, suspended in the tree's crown engraved with words specific to the history of each site.
Three trees and rings have already been installed, with a further seven to be installed, marking all of the main entrances to the Olympic Park.
"Art has been built into the Olympic Park from the start as we set out to deliver a truly new and inspiring place within London," said ODA chief executive Dennis Hone.
"By working creatively and closely with both up-and-coming and established artists we have created a series of exciting focal points across the site.
"This will enhance the Olympic Park for the people who live, work and visit there for years to come."
The ODA's arts and culture strategy has seen all 26 projects commissioned and created over the last four years.
This has been achieved with the support of a number of funders, including the Greater London Authority, Arts Council England, London Development Agency, and Forward Arts Foundation.
The event also marked the launch of the London 2012 Festival full programme announcement, a 12 week, UK wide celebration featuring leading global artists running from June 21 to September 9.
"The ODA have done an amazing job of putting art at the heart of the Olympic Park," added Ruth Mackenzie, the director of the Cultural Olympiad and the London 2012 Festival.
"RUN will not only be a wonderful piece for visitors to enjoy during the Games, but also leave a lasting legacy for years after.
"Through the London 2012 Festival we are building on this platform, programming a celebration of arts and culture for the whole of the UK in the summer of 2012."
Contact the writer of this story at firstname.lastname@example.org