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DAN SHIPSIDES - Radical Architecture - Gritstone outcrop - hanging slabs.


Hanging Slabs - climbing

Radical Architecture - Gritstone outcrop - hanging slabs.

Scaffold, wood, fittings and bark chipping.
6m high, 7m long, 3m wide.

After visiting and climbing at significant sites in the Peak District I developed and designed a climbable installation based on physical elements of certain rock climbs at places such as the The Roaches. Combining a knowledge and love of particular climbing routes with the spatiality of the double height gallery space at Castlefield I aimed to engender and evoke the two spaces through the structure of the installation.

Of particular interest was to re-create the spatial experience from certain climbs and examin and re-create some of the architectural forms of the gritstone outcrops found and climbing on in the poeak District. In particular there is a climbing move on the route called Valkyrie that I was keen to emulate where you move across steep slabs then step over an airy gap and then shuffle around a hanging arete. As a spatial experience it's beautiful because, looking down, you have the space below you and really feel as if you are hanging in an airy precarious space.


The resulting scultpture offers a new climbing route called Hanging Slabs. The route is accessable to to public to climb in the gallery under supervised climbing sessions.


Whilst not precise to the move on Valkyrie - Hanging Slabs does offer an abstraction of that climbing situation and creates a memorable and real spatial experience in itself for those imaginging climbing it - or more acutely for those who do climb it.

The aim of the project is not to re-create the whole experience of climbing routes in the the Peak District - but to distill some of the elements of the climbers landscape into an interactice gallery space in order to imagine a type of "landscape" space that in its essence is radically different from dominate images and imagining of our landscape.

More set up images on Flickr:

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