Crossing (2002) was designed especially for the ‘balcony’ that runs over the top of a row of shops hiding the facade of Lime Street Station.

Wolfgang Winter and Berthold Hörbelt are best known for their sculptures made using recycled mineral water crates, which have been seen at many large-scale exhibitions in the last five years, including the Biennale di Venezia and the Skulptur.Projekte Münster.

Despite this wide exposure,  their work for International 02 entitled Crossing (2002) was their first sculpture to have been commissioned or exhibited in the UK. Constructed from galvanised steel lattice instead of crates, Crossing (2002) marked a new development, yet its permeability to light and air was a recurrent characteristic of their work.

Crossing (2002) was designed especially for the ‘balcony’ that runs over the top of a row of shops hiding the facade of Lime Street Station. The intention of the piece was to bring this neglected spot in the city centre back into public use, so celebrating (and incidentally forming an implicit critique) of the context in which it is placed. It also created an excellent ‘viewpoint’ from which to observe Liverpool and some of its most important buildings – St George’s Hall, the Walker Art Gallery and Quarter Sessions Court.

The sculpture is a curtain-like construction with a meandering form to its plan, a form typical for the artists, who have shown a consistent fascination with boundaries and membranes. The ground plan was adapted from the shape of a puddle on the balcony, an organic form that inherently ‘reflects’ its surroundings. The sculpture is designed to be entered: once inside, the visitor will catch veiled glimpses of the city through its layered walls.

The title, Crossing (2002), was a play on the fact that, although the station is a point of arrival and departure, the balcony is a cul-de-sac, a point of stillness, a place from which to meditate on crossings rather than make them. A crossing can be understood both as a place in which people congregate, but also a threshold that separates, in this case, the people of Liverpool from the surrounding region.

The balcony floor was painted in bright colours to emphasise the playfulness of the sculpture. The sculpture offered the participatory engagement of voyeurism and play. These were ‘free’, and often unacknowledged, aspects of creativity in the city. When recognised at all, it was usually only in order to turn them into a form of retail consumerism. Crossing (2002) was intended to contribute to a material dialogue between citizens and city and it helped create a debate around the planning of Liverpool’s city centre developments.

Crossing, 2002
Commissioned by Liverpool Biennial 2002
Exhibited at Lime Street station