- The ‘Starlight Faerie’, commissioned by Veolia and New West End Company, will stand by Bond Street station from 16th November.
- The sculpture is made entirely from waste materials, which have been recovered from across Westminster and repurposed into an interactive piece of public art.
- In addition to inspiring passersby to take sustainable action, it will also act as an interactive donation point for children’s charity Starlight – the official charity partner of Oxford Street this Christmas.
Sustainable Sculpture, ‘Starlight Faerie’, Brings Magic to the West End this Christmas
On the corner of Oxford Street and South Molton Street, passersby can now pause and contemplate the beauty of everyday resources, transformed by local artists into an interactive piece of public art: the ‘Starlight Faerie’. Delivered in partnership between Veolia and New West End Company, the sculpture will also act as a donation point where visitors to the district can seamlessly tap to donate directly to children’s charity, Starlight.
Standing at 3 metres tall, she has been created using waste materials recovered from across Westminster, with the aim of encouraging passersby to think about the entire lifecycle of the everyday materials they use. Donations came from across the district; tealights from Westminster Abbey have been given new life as the faerie’s corset, whilst a mannequin from a busy Oxford Street store has been transformed into the faerie herself.
She is adorned by stars, from her attire to the tip of her wand. These stars represent Starlight, the official charity partner of Oxford Street this Christmas. The charity supports children in hospital to experience the power of play, boosting their wellbeing and resilience throughout treatment, care and recovery from illness. This year, members of the public are able to sponsor a star on the iconic Oxford Street installation, or donate directly to the charity via the tap and donate function integrated into the faerie installation. Every donation will help make a child’s stay in hospital over Christmas brighter through play.
The ‘Starlight Faerie’ was created by artists Julie Beech and Danil Ripnar, both recent Westminster University graduates who have a history of collaboration on similar projects which leverage their shared passion for 3D form, storytelling and finding innovative ways to recycle materials and reduce waste. Beech has worked with Veolia previously to source materials for her ‘Beautiful Beast’ sculptures exhibited in the Saatchi Gallery, London.
Julie Beech and Danil Ripnar, ‘Starlight Faerie’ artists, said: "It has been a privilege for us to work on this project with New West End Company and Veolia, elevating waste materials into something beautiful to raise awareness about the need to be resourceful. Experimentation, randomness and intuition has dictated the design process, led by the unpredictable nature of using found materials. We see ourselves as urban foragers, finding value in what may be seemingly useless or undesirable.”
Helder Branco, General Manager, Veolia Westminster, said: “We're thrilled to bring some sparkle to London this Christmas in collaboration with our partners at the New West End Company. In the heart of Westminster where our teams work all year round, this sustainable sculpture will give visitors the chance to donate to a wonderful charity and learn more about how they can help preserve resources.
“To make something beautiful out of items that some people might simply throw away shows the power of ecological transformation and repurposing resources to do good within our communities.”
Dee Corsi, Chief Executive, New West End Company, commented: “What makes the West End so special during the festive season is the sheer breadth of experiences on offer, from the iconic lights on Oxford Street, to the very first ice rink in the district, housed at Hanover Square. We are delighted that the ‘Starlight Faerie’ will join this list, and that we have had the opportunity to work with Veolia and University of Westminster artists to bring her to life.
“The faerie is a beautiful piece of interactive public art which will inspire passersby to not only make sustainable changes in their own lives, but to also change the lives of children in hospital this Christmas. By donating to Starlight through the sculpture, members of the public can share their support of the charity’s mission to bring the joy of play to children who need it the most.”
Cathy Gilman, CEO at Starlight, said: “The Starlight Faerie is another wonderful opportunity from our partnership with New West End Company for people to show their support to the many thousands of children who have to spend the festive period in hospital. Through the power of play, Starlight helps children throughout their treatment while they are in the unfamiliar and lonely environment of hospital and undergoing scary procedures. When people come to marvel at the sculpture and donate, every valuable donation helps us to make a child’s stay in hospital brighter.”
The installation will last until January 2024, after which it will go on tour across Westminster.