ByWendy Scott, writer at
Wendy Scott

From 10 to 12 July, something rather interesting is happening in London’s South Bank– a marriage between art and the forthcoming UK release for [Dawn of the Planet of the Apes](movie:322904).

London artist, Martin Firrell, has created a project titled “It Ends Here” () exploring the insights into the conditions for war or peace, happy co-existence or mutual annihilation.

In a combination of light and sound, through three rooms Firrell creates an atmosphere that guides us through the sensations of being the distant voyeur, the participating voyeur and potential victim or perpetrator. All three rooms bear a seemingly simplistic statement that manages to question both human nature and the direction to redemption or Hell.

Martin Firrell has a life-long interest with science fiction and a particular fascination with Pierre Boulle’s novel, “Planet of the Apes” first published in 1963. His questions through the work, reflect the themes with the latest addition to the “PLANET OF THE APES” franchise began in 1968 with the titular film starring Charlton Heston as one of three astronauts who find themselves crash landed onto a planet that appears to be Earth except there is no modern technology, humans are mute slaves and apes, who walk upright and talk, are the masters. The final denouement is still a very powerful scene.

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It Ends Here, Martin Firrell 2014
It Ends Here, Martin Firrell 2014

A big hit for Twentieth Century Fox (John Chambers’ make-up remains an incredible achievement which brought him a well-deserved, if only honorary, Oscar), the subsequent sequels actually told an integrated story of how the apes came to dominate. This was filmmaking in the 70s – while creatives were still in charge of the majors, it was a case of storytelling over $s, not just rehashing a plot – or even “rebooting” - for the sake of it. Fox attempted to revive the franchise in 2001 with Tim Burton helming, but even with a fantastic performance from Tim Roth, it just didn’t work; but in 2011 “RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES” sowed an origin story which was credible and, more importantly, did enough business to green light a sequel.

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From projecting not only onto the Dome of St Paul’s Cathedral but also the celebrated main entrance to celebrate its tercentenary, asking what makes a hero as artist in residence with the household division the British Army, creating an online portrait of British actress, Fenella Fielding (, the nature of Martin Firrell’s work makes him ideally suited for this unusual marriage of art and popular culture and Twentieth Century Fox UK should be applauded for saying, “why not?”

It is free entry to the work, so if you are in the Waterloo area from 10-12 July, go to The Vaults under Waterloo Station, Leake Street SE1 and experience It Ends Here. If you can’t get there, you can get a sense of the work at or search


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