Art for the Community – Randy Klein
Peckham is full of public art works, and sometimes it’s easy to walk past them without knowing the stories behind them or who they were created by. In the case of ‘Giant Leaves’, a steel sculpture comprising of large leaves on the traffic island next to The Nags Head, it is the creative behind the art who tells such an interesting story.
Randy Klein is an artist living in Nunhead. Originally from New York he has now been a local resident for 11 years. Randy works in many different mediums, but all of his works hold a strong sense of narrative. With his sculptures he aims to bring something much more than simply a physical structure- he challenges himself to give them the lightness and delicacy of a painting or drawing, something that can be hard to achieve with large metal structures.
Giant Leaves together with a flowing wave form a border around a traffic island. In order to enclose the space and allow landscaping, these artworks were an innovative alternative to fencing the area in. They are created in 8mm steel, hot zinc dipped and silver leaf finished. – Randy Klein
As well as creating a number of public art works across the world, he is also a founding member of Creative Nunhead, an arts collective bringing local artists together through group shows and events. His idea for this collaborative approach to working with other artists came from a disagreement with the idea that ‘art is a market, and that artists are in competition with each other, just like in any other market.’ Arguing this with the fact that ‘artists are so unique, and have such diverse approaches to their work/career, that maybe it is foolish to think of us as being in competition.’ This powerfully strong sense of unity, collaboration and community is evident within all of his projects. From working with local homelessness charity Thames Reach, to enriching local estates with community made art. In his 11 years as a Nunhead resident it’s safe to say that Randy has worked to support his local community in the best way he knows.