PASW Regional Newsletter: Autumn 2007
Public Art South West Activities
Public Art South West is one of the leading public art development agencies in the UK. Primarily serving the south west of England, its works extends beyond geographical boundaries in terms of the critical thinking and application of artists’ skills and creativity it promotes. It works with artists and national and regional public and private sector organisations across Britain, and actively networks with a range of professionals within art and the built and natural environment.
Mark Luck of Luck Associates Ltd has been appointed as our planning associate and started with us in April.Mark brings an indepth expertise and knowledge of planning and design to our team and further information on his work and focus is detailed later on.
Recent Projects and Initiatives include:
This unique resource is increasingly popular and well-used; with over 450,000 visitors to the site per annum. There are 1500 people signed up to receive the e-mail bulletin each month, which lets subscribers know about new material added to the site.
We continue to receive positive feedback about the site; below is a selection from the last six months:
“I have found your site to be extremely useful and informative.” Phil Smith
“The case study is a fantastic bonus for the project, something written by an independent party, that is clear and relevant whilst also working on many levels.” Lee Simmons, artist
"The PASW website is looking better than ever - easily the best port of call for up to date public art information." Ian Banks, independent public art consultant and architect
“It's a really useful site full of relevant info which is very well presented and easy to find.” Ruth Jacobs, hospital arts co-ordinator
“Thank you again for this incredible piece of writing [the Broward case study by Emma Larkinson]. When we read it, we each had the same feeling of someone looking at a project that has been very near and dear to all of us, but now looking at it from the outside in. It was a different perspective.” Jody Leshinsky, Broward Cultural Division
Over the past few months we have added an in-depth study of the Broward Lighting Project in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, featuring interactive light-works by artist Dan Corson. There’s also an in-depth study of the Silica project in Weston super Mare, a landmark functional sculpture designed by Wolfgang and Heron. In addition, we’ve uploaded brief studies of Lee Simmon’s Quarry 2 installation, highlighting environmental issues in a chalk quarry in Surrey, as well as the Elevate Artist Injection Housing Renewal initiative in Burnley, which was supported by PROJECT- engaging artists in the built environment.
New reports include Building Cultures: A Manifesto of Possibilities – the results of the action workshop at Birkbeck, University of London in February 2007; a conference report from the Patient Environments and the Arts event in January 2007 and Anna Minton's report for Guardian Society on RSA Arts & Ecology's 'No Way Back?' conference in December 2007.
New research includes Designing for Health: Architecture, Art and Design at the James Cook University Hospital (2005). This detailed study by CAHHM aimed "to evaluate the extent to which a planned approach to architecture, art and design in a major tertiary care NHS hospital has a beneficial effect on patients' and visitors' experiences of the hospital and on patient and staff wellbeing."
Whilst our focus of work this year has moved away from a sequential training programme we are still undertaking bespoke continuing professional development sessions for local authorities, design practices etc and continue to research into ways in which we can develop opportunities to extend both artists’ and commissioners’ practice. We are also asked to advise on a range of training programmes around the country.
Following on from our professional training and development workshop for public art consultants entitled ‘Legal and Business Frameworks for Public Art Commissions’, we have extended the information available on insurance, public liability and professional indemnity on our website – including a useful ‘question and answer’ paper devised by ourselves and Henry Lydiate.
Cornwall - PASW is part of a ‘Cornwall Task Team’ working with Arts Council England – South West and Cornwall County Council; a major focus of this work for us is how best the Convergence Fund can deliver high quality environments for the future. We are also advising on a range of projects including a creative lighting strategy for Redruth and the re-development of the Old Grammar School, Redruth as a creative workspace project.
Devon - PASW has been working closely with the Architecture Centre Devon and Cornwall, which has been established with support from the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) and Creating Excellence - the regional centre for sustainable communities, to promote quality in the design of the built environment.With an administrative base in Plymouth, the centre has begun its programme of work to raise public awareness of design issues, and to support local authorities in achieving high design aspiration and outcomes, through design review, project work, events and exhibitions. The Architecture Centre can provide guidance on design advocacy, information for commissioners of building projects, design champions and local authorities looking for support and resource.
Dorset - PASW has been working closely with the Public Art for Weymouth and Portland 2012 Steering Group, which is part of the world class Olympic cultural programme for Weymouth and Portland and its hinterland the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. After a national competitive selection process the consultants, Mererid Velios, Geoff Wood and Simon Fenhoulet have been appointed. Further information on this exciting initiative will be featured in our next newsletter.
Boscombe Spa Regeneration
Boscombe Spa on the fringes of Bournemouth has been hitting the national press recently, who all seem to have been intrigued at one of the initiatives of the council’s regeneration scheme, which involves creating an artificial surf reef. The Boscombe Spa Village Development will transform Boscombe Seafront into a unique year-round leisure amenity focused around the following key features:
Europe’s first artificial surf reef.
Refurbished Boscombe Pier.
Landscaped piazza and events area in front of the pier, linking the recently renovated Victorian Boscombe Chine Gardens and Shelley Park to the sea.
Revitalised Boscombe Overstrand complex incorporating surf themed shopping and tuition facilities, a ground and first floor restaurant with sea views, changing rooms, showers and 42 ‘super chalets’ available for day-time hire and lease.
Links to general re-development of the Boscombe area, including Boscombe Chine Gardens & Shelley Manor.
Public Art at Boscombe
Artist, Irene Rogan, was appointed to develop an overarching strategy to develop public art within the Boscombe Spa project. The Wessex Pump Station and Piazza are key public art opportunities identified in Irene Rogan’s report and these two areas have now commissioned a lead artist to develop and create integrated artworks.
The selection panel, supported by PASW have appointed south west artist Simon Hitchens. They were very impressed with the ‘Coastline’ scheme in Workington in Cumbria, which Simon led, details of which are on www.simonhitchens.com.
Gloucestershire - PASW has been working closely with Gloucestershire County Council to establish a Gloucestershire Quality Design Initiative, which is modelled on the successful format of the Devon Quality Design Initiative.Information on DQDI has been featured separately in the newsletter.
PASW also continues to advise the urban regeneration company – Gloucester Heritage with regard to the implementation of the public art strategy ‘A Place for Art’ and as a member of the Design
Wiltshire - New Swindon Company
The New Swindon Company (TNSC), one of three Urban Regeneration Companies (URC’s) in the South West, is working with strategic partners English Partnerships (EP), South West of England Regional Development Agency (SWRDA) and Swindon Borough Council (SBC) to drive and
co-ordinate the regeneration of Swindon town centre.
The New Swindon Company and Swindon Borough Council, supported by PASW have commissioned a public art consultancy, which will deliver a strategy for the commissioning of public art across the URC area, and then promote and co-ordinate the delivery of that strategy. TNSC centres on seven key development sites and in establishing excellent quality public realm emphasising connectivity and legibility. The company is working to maximise the vibrant, progressive and economic opportunities of an urban centre surrounded by a beautiful ancient landscape.
The public art strategy published in Autumn 2007 will highlight integrated opportunities for artists to work on design teams, creative approaches to sustainability, and opportunities for a series of high quality temporary installations and events. The Strategy will follow the guidelines proposed in the Public Realm Strategy delivered by Urban Initiatives.
Public Art South West was the subject of a short documentary commissioned by the Local Government Channel, produced by HBL Media limited. The film focuses on two recent Public Art South West projects. These are the concept design work for a new visitor centre at Durlston Castle in Dorset with artist Lulu Quinn and the regeneration of the Barton Hill area of Bristol.
The lease on Durlston Castle in Swanage, Dorset, was purchased by the South West of England Regional Development Agency in 2003. Together with Dorset County Council, they plan to transform the site into a gateway centre for the Jurassic Coast. This £6 million scheme is part of the Jurassic Coast Art Strategy and will involve artists making links between the historic and contemporary significance of the site.
Concept design work for visitors’ centre by
Lulu Quinn, Durlston Castle, Dorset.
A PROJECT Creative Homes Award was made to the Sovereign Housing Association in 2005. David Cotterrell, artist, worked as part of the project team developing the second building phase of a regeneration programme in Barton Hill, Bristol. The sensitivity of approach, especially with local people, towards achieving high quality design in a new development of 50-60 new homes in a context of traditional Victorian terraces and 1970s tower blocks was the challenge of this project.
The film was commissioned for the Local Government Association’s annual culture, tourism and sport conference & exhibition ‘Shaping Places, inspiring people’ in Sheffield, March 2007.