The last two or three years have been stretched out over short contracts for delivering public artworks in different place. One working on behalf of b-side to commission a trail of 6 permanent artworks across Weymouth and the second for Lydney Harbour Development for Forest of Dean District Council. After three years of progress, the artworks are being installed in Weymouth. Find out more here. Six artists were chosen to design and create the artworks for the trail by members of the council’s Arts Advisory Panel, supported by b-side curators. The artworks use a wide range of materials, techniques, approaches, and interpretations to tell the story of the town’s history and connection to water, as well as exploring current and future challenges.
The trail spans from the headland of Nothe Fort , through the shopping centre and along the seafront, out to the edge of the town.
Lydney Harbour Development- Public Art Commission
Flow Contemporary Arts has also been working on behalf of the Forest of Dean District Council, conducting a public consultation specifically about the commissioning of an artist to create a public artwork/s, to mark the route to Lydney Harbour. Sadly Covid hit hard the day the consutlancy began so much of the work was conducted via surveys and online. The Lydney Coastal Community Team (LCCT) were successful in their bid for £2.1M from the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund. The fund enables the LCCT to develop and improve local attractions, create jobs and promote socio-economic growth in Coastal Communities and enhance Lydney Harbour and surrounding areas.
Artists Denman + Gould were appointed and the work will be launched in Spring 2022. Watch this space, the designs are wonderful!
The Forest We Want
The Biosphere Reserve Action Group (BRAG) successfully procured an Arts Council England Grant for Forest Economic Partnerships (FEP) to commission 2 artists to create a film and podcasts to engage the people of the Forest of Dean area in considering becoming a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Supported by the Forest of Dean District Council, the project has resulted in several films that provide creative narratives to open up pbulic imaginations. A survey has received a fantastic response in terms of both numbers and positive feedback.
Find out more on the FEP website
Watch the films here
Listen to podcasts here.
Learn more about what a Biosphere Reserve does here, narrated by Chris McFarling
The first project I delivered in the public realm was the Dialogue Project in Bristol, as a Director of Independent Artists Network (IAN). Dialogue delivered in empty buildings, warehouses, flower stalls, ferry boats and underneath bridges. IAN went on to work in Bristol area for several years, working with all the key players in the city – Watershed, Arnolfini, Bristol City Council, UWE etc. Public engagement and consultation was all part of that process, as was evaluation and documentation.
Following IAN, I was employed as Project Assistant to Claire Doherty of Situations on the Thinking of the Outside Project. Using empty buildings in the city centre, we delivered some ambitious works, including installing a cinema in an old market hall at St Nicholas Market, complete with cinemas seats, carpets and drapes, and a video installation in a grade I listed building, part of the Bristol castle on Castle Park.
My next role in the public realm was as Producer for the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trust, where I honed my awareness of health and safety (blue light meetings) and environmental awareness, alongside the specific challenges of delivering permanent artworks outdoors in unprotected spaces. We commissioned events, temporary works and permanent works for the trail and worked closely with Forestry Commission to submit and achieve planning permission for permanent works.
Working on the contract to tour Aeolus with, and by, Luke Jerram demanded awareness of conservation in both the built environment and the natural. We worked together with two Universities – Salford and Southampton – and our host partners – to ensure the artwork was engineered and installed safely in three key locations – outside the BBC on Salford Quays, in a wildflower meadow at The Eden Project and at National Trust Property on a veranda at Lyme Park. Manoeuvring ten tons of steel into place at all three locations took a skilled team and some careful thinking.
I was the Producer for ExLab in Dorset, presenting as part of London2012. ExLab was a county-wide scattered-site exhibition of temporary works, sited on headlands in Coastwatch Towers and National Trust barns; on Hive Beach; Durlston House and other locations.
Since then I’ve delivered the Bideford Black Project for The Burton in Bridport and various other events and temporary works, including another with Luke Jerram, Withdrawn, a number of huge fishing boats installed in Leigh Woods, as part of the Bristol Green City programme. Straddling land owned by National Trust and Forestry Commission, the partnership working was complex but achieved. Withdrawn was a temporary work but still required planning permission and compliance with playground legislation.