Science and art collide in a ‘living’ artwork by artist Anthony McCall
British artist Anthony McCall poses for photographers next to a scale model of his work, "Column," during a presentation of his commission for the Cultural Olympiad, in central London March 2, 2011. McCall has been commissioned by Britain's Arts Council and the Cultural Olympiad to create his "column" - a 20 metre wide column of cloud that will rise from the surface of water - on Merseyside next year. Reuters.

An ambitious project by internationally acclaimed artist, Anthony McCall is on display at a major exhibition at Ambika P3, University of Westminster till March 27, 2011.

Known for his solid-light installations, McCall's latest creation involves a slender, spinning column of cloud reaching into the region's skies for up to several kilometers. This will also be a part of the Cultural Olympiad which is one of the major countdown events to the London 2012 Festival.

The ambitious piece will rise from Wirral Waters in Merseyside, standing taller than Blackpool Tower and looking across the water to Liverpool's landmark Liver Building.

The Art Council of England states that this seemingly 'living' artwork will be responsive to both the weather and light conditions that surround it, appearing as a slim white column on a summer's day, as a dark line in overcast skies, and bending according to the winds.

The project has been commissioned by Arts Council England as part of 'Artists taking the Lead', one of the most ambitious and wide-ranging art events in the UK, featuring a series of 12 public art commissions each of which will be a part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

Since the announcement of the commission in 2009, McCall has been working on the logistics of this ambitious installation.

To explain the reason for the artwork's iconic site on Merseyside, McCall said, 'Wirral Waters' cavernous estuary sky, constantly shifting weather, and its available docks already make it a compelling location for Column. The fact that Merseyside also stands as a focal point for the whole North West, makes it absolutely ideal.

Combining art, science, and nature, the piece is expected to provide a striking yet subtle accent to the area's skyline, locating the cultural centre of Merseyside to an audience of thousands in the countdown to the 2012 Olympic Games and Cultural Olympiad celebrations.

Video footage of the working studio maquette is below: