Artist sets the table (and chair) in Hampstead

The writer's craft has always loomed large in the folklore of literary Hampstead. This summer, courtesy of a professional footballer-turned-sculptor, it will become a physical reality.

Giancarlo Neri's The Writer - a wooden table and chair measuring the size of the average house - is to be installed on the slopes of Parliament Hill on Hampstead Heath. Neri says it is a "monument to the loneliness of writing".

The six tons of steel, 1,000 pounds of wood, and several hundred nuts and bolts that make up the work will be shipped from Rome where it has been on display for two years. It was due to be shown on the heath in 2003 but fell foul of safety and planning rules. The last plan to ship it was delayed by bad weather.

Neri, who has made large-scale installations for 20 years after giving up a professional football career with the New York Apollos said it had been warmly received by writers. "They all identify with the condition of being prisoners of their desks, of the confinement that it requires to actually write about the outside world. The idea was to reverse that sense of captivity and put the writer on public display."

The installation will mark the launch of Rollo Contemporary Art in Islington, and will be on display from 22 June until 9 October.

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