Ecstacity painting


This painting was the central piece of the eponymous exhibition at the Architectural Association in 1992, where it formed the backdrop for several other components that made up the installation. It represents an area of central London from Trafalgar Square on the left to St Pauls on the right. Many of the features represented within the image are of existing features of this part of London, such as the river, Somerset House and the theatres of Theatreland. But laid over and in-between these are more abstract architectural elements: pontoons or wing like structures that bring a dynamic to the urban landscape in contrast to Londons historical makeup. One particularly curious element is the giant figure. It was incorporated by Coates as a way of underling the human qualities of the city itself. Although not intended to signify a real structure, this sleeping figure suggests the metabolic and benign qualities inherent in the urban environment. It also pre-figures Coates contribution to the Millennium Dome, the Body Zone.

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