Thursday, 28 October 2010

A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain - Owen Hatherley

Ok, it's not directly about public art but this new book about urban regeneration during the Labour reign is sort of related. In fact public art gets mentioned - witheringly - in the second sentence of this article. The next thing to give public art a bad name.
What the author doesn't talk about is the conditions under which these sorts of projects were funded - often through the RDAs and often with challenging deadlines for completion, leading to rush jobs and an inability to comply with best practice, whether for commissioning artists or anything else.
(I particularly like the Guardian quick link which has distilled it to 'owen-hatherley-ruins-great-britain' - oh come now, it wasn't all his fault.)

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Anne Pasternak article for The Art Newspaper on temporary public art
Choice quote:
'Despite the enthusiasm for a few acknowledged masterpieces, much public art is pretty terrible, however. One reason for this is that it is often meant to be permanent. This means artists are limited in their choice of materials and scale, which can stifle their ambition. Public art works have to comply with standards imposed by engineers and safety inspectors, and must not offend public decency. Then there’s often a lack of oversight and maintenance that can leave outdoor sculptures looking tragically neglected.'

Gretna Landmark

With Lead Artist Andy Goldsworthy and Creative Director Charles Jencks, this commission looks to be an interesting project which aims to mark the border crossing from England to Scotland. The project requires around £2m investment. For more info visit

Public art seminar series in Burnley Dec 2010 - Mar 2011

Nayan Kulkarni, Beam and Maggie Bolt are all future speakers at this seminar series organised by CreativityWorks for Regeneration.
Wednesday 15 December
Nayan Kulkarni: inside and alongside: dis/integrated artworks

Wednesday 26 January
Robert Powell/Jane Field (Beam): Your Space: The Arts, Learning, and Participation in Regeneration

Wednesday 9 March
Maggie Bolt: ‘What Next For Public Art?’ Planning in a Changing Context

All seminars are FREE, and will take place on Wednesdays from 2 to 5 p.m. in the Tudor Room at Burnley Mechanics, Manchester Road, Burnley. Tea/coffee/biscuits provided.

Please contact Piotr Bienkowski for further information

The seminars are funded by Lancashire County Council through their Public Art Allocation.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Illuminate Bath, 1 - 13 November 2010

Illuminate Bath is a new arts festival transforming the city’s streets over two weeks from 1 - 13 November. More than 50 artists and performers will be showcasing their work in different locations around Bath.

The Illuminate Bath programme includes projections, dance, sculpture, film, music, animation, textiles, installations, theatre, poetry and workshops. You can find these around the city centre, both indoors and outdoors in spaces where you would not necessarily expect to see art.  Most of the festival is completely free, with the exception of a few performances and workshops which are ticketed.

Students, graduates and staff from Bath Spa University and Relays (Regional Educational Legacy in Arts and Youth Sports) are the creative force behind Illuminate Bath. They have developed ideas in response to the theme of this year’s festival, which is kinetic energy (energy generated by movement) and light.

The grand finale takes place on Saturday 13 November, when the festival finishes with a dazzling free event featuring interactive projections and performances in SouthGate Place from 5pm to 8pm.  Catch a glimpse of the action as you pass through or stay for the duration and soak up the atmosphere.

Please visit the festival website for further information about what’s on and how to buy tickets:

Launch of Ruined, a new public artwork by Hew Locke, Brunswick Cemetery, Bristol

A new artwork by internationally renowned artist Hew Locke (who is currently one of the nominees for the next Fourth Plinth commission) is being launched in the new Brunswick Cemetery Gardens in Bristol.

Saturday 13 November
off Brunswick Square and Wilder Street, St. Pauls, Bristol
12pm – 4pm
Meet the artist
Free live music for autumn by Vladimir Steamboat
Warming food supplied by Rice & Things
Free art workshop run by Refab Arts

Free artist’s talk
Public Art In The Park
Unitarian Chapel, Brunswick Square
Hew Locke will be joined by artist Graham Fagen,
who was commmissioned to produce a new artwork for
St Agnes Park by Foreground for Bristol City Council.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Wonders of Weston

Going to Weston-super-Mare on Friday 29 October for the launch of Wonders of Weston, a programme of new public artworks by artists Ruth Claxton, Tim Etchells, Lara Favaretto, Tania Kovats in association with landscape architects Grant Associates, architects raumlaborberlin and artist collective Wrights and Sites.
It has been produced by Situations at the University of the West of England, Bristol, in association with Field Art Projects, and has been developed as part of the Sea Change initiative, which was aimed at revitalising seaside towns. Sea Change is funded by CABE on behalf of the DCMS and is managed by North Somerset Council.

Public art at The Storey Creative Industries Centre, Lancaster

The commission by artist Tod Hanson at the Storey Creative Industries Centre in Lancaster is nearly finished. Just the stairwell left to do, which will be finished next week. Will post some of the official photos on here later if given permission - the above photos are by Suzy Jones at the Storey Gallery.