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Egg with everything

I have been following the blog of artist Stephen Turner since I had the pleasure of visiting him last week in his temporary home, the Exbury Egg.

 This extraordinary structure has caught the attention of the world’s media (apparentlyVogue magazine is interested) and it is as seductive in practice as in the photos – although very different.

It is a far more rough and ready structure than it appears, and has even sprung a few leaks. Nevertheless, Turner plans to live in it most of the time for a year, despite having no insulation – he will wear a warm cloak cum blanket designed for him at the local art college.

The idea is not to have an elegant piece of urban living but for Turner to live and work on this disappearing piece of salt marsh on the edge of the Beaulieu River. His blog documents the finds he is making, and he will be launching mini eggs onto the water, like modern day ships in a bottle with messages and objects – the first will contain a squirrel skull.

Designed by local practice PAD Studio, the project is the brainchild of SPUD, a group set up when the local architecture centre folded. This is the only one of three planned artist/architect collaborations that has come off so far.

The Egg is not intended to receive many visitors, since they would damage the delicated environment that Turner is there to react to. But his time there will be documented by webcam, and at the end of the year the Egg and his work will go into a gallery. It is a fascinating, enterprising project – and my admiration is only increased by my relief that it is Turner, and not me, who will be spending the cold, dark days of winter there.


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