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Wednesday, 28 July, 1999, 09:25 GMT 10:25 UK
Sculpture's coming home
Alison Wilding's contribution to the scheme - fruit bowls
Nine contemporary artists could become household names - when their art goes on sale at a nationwide chain of DIY stores.

The sculptors and the Tate Gallery have teamed up with retailer Homebase to have nine specially-created works sold at the outfit's stores across the country.

Some pieces are practical, such as a £6 coatpeg from sculptor Antony Gormley - who created Gateshead's famous Angel of the North landmark - while others are ornamental such as a molten aluminium sculpture by Richard Deacon.

A teardrop lamp by Anish Kapoor, garden tools and a bath towel are among the other works - none expected to cost much more than £50 - which will go on show at the Tate Gallery in London as well as being sold across the country.

Anish Kapoor's teardrop-shaped lamp
The idea came from Professor Colin Painter of Wimbledon School of Art, who contacted art patron Lord Sainsbury, head of the Homebase chain.

He said that although people would display valued objects around their home as carefully as they would fine art, they found contemporary art "forbidding and remote".

"It has become a cliché for people to look at a modern painting and say, 'I wouldn't have that on the living room wall,'" he said.

"I would argue that the home is more important as a location for art than a gallery, museum or educational institution."

Ordinary families were recruited to show each artist around their homes to help them inspire their pieces.

Tony Cragg - who has been commissioned to make a work for the Millennium Dome - designed garden tools thanks to senior citizen Edna Day's love of gardening.

Antony Gormley's coatpegs
Anish Kapoor's teardrop lamp came about after one woman complained that British homes were too gloomy compared with those in her South American homeland.

Antony Gormley - who describes his coatpeg as "a re-designed nail, basically", said he hoped the scheme would change the image of artists.

"We always think of artists as inspired or drunk or recklessly removed from domestic life, but all the artists I know depend heavily on their domestic situation," he said.

"Maybe we have moved on from the idea of the artist as angst-ridden existential loner to someone more integrated with the conditions of modern life."

The Tate's exhibition of the artists' work will go on a nationwide tour, and the artists' experiences will feature in a BBC Two documentary later this year.

The products themselves will be sold in Homebase stores from the autumn.

See also:

13 Jul 99 | Entertainment
Horsing around at the Tate
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