October 11, 2010 - Situations - Wonders of Weston: A series of new artworks for the town of Weston-super-Mare
October 11, 2010

Wonders of Weston: A series of new artworks for the town of Weston-super-Mare

Model Yacht Pond, Weston-super-Mare. Photo by John Arnold.

Wonders of Weston
A series of new artworks for the town of Weston-super-Mare

From 29 October 2010

Produced by Situations at the University of the West of England, Bristol, in association with
Field Art Projects


The small English seaside town of Weston-super-Mare will soon be home to a permanent programme of artworks by artists and architects of international acclaim. Commissioned as part of Sea Change, a UK-wide initiative to revitalise seaside towns, Wonders of Weston was conceived as an art programme which would be developed through sensitive responses to the multiple histories and contemporary lives of Weston-super-Mare. Launching off-season as British Summer Time comes to an end, the Wonders of Weston will appear as a series of remarkable new gathering points and dispersed interventions in the North Somerset town.

Due the immense tidal range (the second highest in the world), Weston-super-Mare is known for its expansive beach and mud flats over which the Grand Pier extends. A thriving 19th century seaside resort, Weston’s popularity as a holiday destination began to wane in the 1960s, though with the rise of the ‘staycation’ and the redevelopment of the seafront, the summer season still sees the town transformed with the arrival of day-trippers.

Eschewing the kiss-me-quick cliché of the British seaside, artists Ruth Claxton, Tim Etchells, Lara Favaretto, Tania Kovats in association with landscape architects Grant Associates, raumlaborberlin and Wrights & Sites were drawn to overlooked aspects of the town – from a derelict 1930s model boating pond to the childhood hangouts of John Cleese. Whilst a number of the works take advantage of the expansive beach and the views out across Weston Bay, building upon the state of contemplation induced by big skies and wide open spaces, others encourage the visitor to turn back towards the town to consider its peculiarities, hidden wonders and infectious humour.

The programme is accompanied by public nominations for the Seventh Wonder of Weston which already include a hill fort, a mystic path, a theatre organ and Weston brass band. Nominations can be viewed at Wonders of Weston website (www.wondersofweston.org) along with video interviews with the artists, an extended guide and full information on visiting Weston-super-Mare. The Annotated Guide to Wonders of Weston, a richly illustrated guide to the artists’ working processes annotated by Weston residents will be published by Book Works in spring 2011. www.bookworks.org.uk

Wonders of Weston is produced by Situations, a public art commissioning and research programme at the University of the West of England, Bristol (www.situations.org.uk), in association with Field Art Projects, an arts consultancy operating in the public realm (www.fieldartprojects.com). The programme has been developed as part of the national Sea Change initiative, managed by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) on behalf of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), and is managed by North Somerset Council.

Email: Anna.Vinegrad@ideageneration.co.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7749 6850

For further information contact:
Situations office
Spike Island
133 Cumberland Road
Bristol, BS1 6UX, UK
+44 (0) 117 930 4282


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