Scaffolding As Art

When you hear the word art, the first thing that comes to mind
might be an oil painting or sculpture. The chances are the last
thing thing you would think of is scaffolding. However, as the
artists below show, scaffolding is as versatile in the art world as
it is in construction.

The Scaffold Room

Artist Jack Lemon opened a somewhat unusual
exhibition last November in New York City. The space was named the

Scaffold Room
“, and consisted of two floors constructed
completely from scaffolding. The construction also represented the
internal “thinking space” needed to consider issues facing
contemporary culture, such as gender, race and sexuality.

The upstairs area displayed videos, drawings
and sculptures, alongside photographs and found objects, while the
downstairs scaffold room hosted performance art.

Waterfall Towers

While it might seem strange, this isn’t the
first time scaffolding has been used as art. in 2008, artist Olafur
Eliasson built four man-made waterfalls using
scaffold towers
and placed them at various locations around New
York City, most famously at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge.

A total of 64,000 square feet of scaffold was
used in the construction of the waterfalls, weighing in at 270
tons. The exhibits were opened on June 26th and ran until October
13th 2008.

Scaffold Animals

Here in the UK, artist Ben Long, who worked
on construction sites as a teenager, uses scaffolding
to create complex sculptures of animals such as horses, dogs, and

The fact that the work is made of scaffold
poles means it can be easily dismantled and reassembled elsewhere,
which has allowed Ben’s work to appear all over the country, from
waste land in London to the seaside, as part of Banksy’s

While they might appear strange at first,
these works of art help to raise the profile of scaffolding,
helping the public to see this seemingly everyday, but vital tool
in a new light.