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Mark Willcox with Kings X Fire Artworks

Mark Willcox with Kings X Fire Artworks

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Kings X Fire

On Wednesday 18 Nov 1987, an enormous fire engulfed an old wooden escalator at Kings Cross London Underground station. Thirty one people died, including a firefighter, in one of the most tragic events in British public transport history. Mark Willcox left the station only a few minutes before the fireball exploded in the escalator well. The Kings X Fire series was created in 2008 as a commemoration to mark the 21st Anniversary of the Fire.  The work alludes to notions of fate and chance, evoking his memories of the media reports and dark thoughts of what might have been.  Despite the disturbing undertones in the subject matter and a stark narrative suggested in the title of each piece, the artworks have a surreal, dream-like quality with saturated colour and a liquid texture that provokes a conflict between beauty and horror. 

The work was premiered in the group exhibition, Liverpool International Artists, in 2008, before transferring to London as a solo exhibition, where it opened on the 21st Anniversary night of the Fire. Works from this series were acquired by Novas Scarman Group for its public collection.

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