November 25, 2011 - Bristol City Council (BCC) - Art and the Public Realm Bristol
November 25, 2011

Art and the Public Realm Bristol

Suzanne Lacy and Knowle West Media Centre, ‘University of Local Knowledge’(Ted Cockrell/Jowett 1933)’.
Photo: Courtesy of KWMC, Bristol.

Art and the Public Realm Bristol

Bristol City Council (BCC) is pleased to announce a new web site for Bristol’s public art programme. Art and the Public Realm Bristol has been developed to mark the 10th anniversary of the Bristol’s Public Art Policy and to provide a showcase for city’s public art programme, events, talks and associated projects.

This dedicated online resource is free of charge and was launched in June 2011 as part of a conference on the future of public art organised by the UK public art think tank Ixia.

Art and the Public Realm Bristol provides a comprehensive overview of the projects realised through the city’s (percent for art) PFA system, artwork locations, audio recordings of artists’ talks staged at the Arnolfini as part of BCC’s dedicated Lecture Series, and information on the BCC Public Art Policy and Strategy. The site also provides information on major public artworks carried out as part of developments in the city, and by curators and commissioners including Situations, Picture This, Arnolfini, Plan 9, Foreground, Spike Island and many others.

Bristol is one of the leading cities in the UK for public art commissioning, known for its programme of projects with artists of local, national and international significance, and focused on the development of visionary public art works outside conventional gallery and museum settings.

The programme has been active since the adoption by the city of a public art policy in 2000, followed by the development of a Public Art Strategy in 2003. As a result, over 100 permanent and temporary commissions have been produced within a diversity of contexts, from public spaces, housing, health, retail, education and local parks.

Activities that involve the inhabitants of the city in a variety of ways are a central facet of the programme, with projects ranging from stand-alone works, temporary commissions, architectural pavilions in parks, performances, film screenings, public engagement programmes and a curated series of public talks, organised by Bristol City Council and hosted by Arnolfini. These events aim to create a forum for the exchange of ideas among practitioners, students, scholars and the public and to shed light on the city’s public art programme.

Commissioned texts by artist and writers will also feature, commencing with ‘New British Sculpture / Bristol 1968: A new Engagement with Public Art’, an essay by Julian Warren, archivist at Arnolfini and Bristol Record Office, which takes as a starting point an exhibition of twenty-five key sculuptures staged across the centre of Bristol in 1968. Warren’s essay examines the legacy of this early example of a curated exhibition of art in public space, and the effects it had in the UK and further afield.

Current projects
In late 2010 a number of new permanent works were commissioned as part of the development of Bristol parks, including major works by artists Olaf Breuning, Graham Fagen and Hew Locke. The current programme includes projects with Martin Parr, who has been working with Arnolfini and St Mary Redcliffe and Temple School to develop a new photographic series. German artist Lothar Goetz, completed a series of 10 new wall paintings at the Meridian development in Central Bristol, along with works for Ashton Park School by Polish artist Jaroslaw Flicinski. Tomás Saraceno‘s Museo Aero Solar took flight at Hengrove Park in late October which shall be followed later in the year by a major new light work by S Mark Gubb installed in central Bristol, whilst in south Bristol the Danish artist collective N55 will install their ‘Spaceplates Greenhouse’, (a functioning greenhouse designed for use by horticultural students) at the South Bristol Skills Academy.

In Spring 2012, Serena Korda‘s new work ‘W.A.M.A’ (Work as Movement Archive) a multi-disciplinary project, based on the collection of local people’s working movements and their transformation into a folk dance will be staged in Barton Hill, and in March new projects with Anne Bean and United Visual Artists will be launched in Hengrove Park. 2012 also sees the launch of further commissions with artists including Anna Barriball, Simon and Tom Bloor, Adam Chodzko, Jeanne van Heeswijk, Steven Claydon, Roger Hiorns, Tue Greenfort, Simon Faithfull and Mark Titchner.

For further information or press enquiries please contact:

Bristol City Council
City Design Group
Brunel House
St Georges Road
Bristol BS1 5UY
T +44 (0)117 922 3064

Art and the Public Realm Bristol is a dedicated website for Bristol’s Public Art Programme managed and owned by Bristol City Council.

Art and the Public Realm Bristol
Bristol City Council (BCC)
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