Ecotile and The Arts: Tate Modern
Earlier this month, we were invited to collaborate with Cuban artist Tania Brugurea on her art project at the Tate Modern in London. The Tate Modern is a world famous British art institution based on the borders of Central and South London. It has showcased a wide variety of international modern and contemporary art encompassing a wide range of themes and topics.
Tania Brugurea is an artist known for her high-impact performance work. A previous project involved using police officers on horseback to force the audience around like angry protesters.
Her latest endeavour focuses on the global migration crisis. As part of the annual Hyundai Commission, Brugurea’s latest artwork takes centre stage in the Tate Modern’s turbine hall where 3500 m2 of our interlocking PVC floor tiles provided her canvas.
Our time at the Tate Modern
Coated with thermochromic paint and then sealed, our tiles were transformed in to a heat-sensitive surface that records an impression of people’s footsteps as they walk over it. The goal of the project was to get enough people to lie on the floor to reveal a portrait of a young Syrian migrant who, against the odds, survived the risky journey from his war torn country to begin a new life in the UK.
This young man was a homeless migrant when he and Brugurea met six years ago but he has made a huge success of the opportunity and is now studying medicine and working in the NHS.
Another interesting aspect of the installation is a low-frequency sound playing through speakers that fills the space, meant to haunt the area with an unsettling energy. In a room nearby, an organic compound has been released into the air that induces tears. According to Brugurea, it is meant to provoke what she describes as ‘forced empathy’.
This was a very unusual project for us that presented a few unforeseen challenges but it is a huge privilege to be part of such a thought-provoking and worthwhile artistic endeavour.
Lucinda O’Reilly, Exports & Marketing Director is an integral part of the team that has grown Ecotile Flooring in to the successful manufacturing business it is today. Over the last 20 years she has successfully employed her skills in sales and marketing to ensure Ecotile Flooring is recognised as the market leading manufacturer of PVC interlocking floor tiles. Lucinda’s love of travel means the Ecotile brand is dominant all over Europe, North America, the Middle East, Asia and India.
To ensure compliance with export regulations Lucinda has gained accreditations from the Chamber of Commerce in Incoterms & Export Licence Controls and Export Procedures & Documentation and has completed the Institute of Export course on Incoterms 2020. She is a member of the Institute of Export, was a finalist in the Natwest Open to Export competition in 2018 and was instrumental in Ecotile Flooring winning a Queen’s Enterprise for International Trade in 2017. Lucinda has recently been interviewed by BBC News and Channel 4 News for her insights on Brexit and is an Export Champion for the Department for International Trade.