Everything you need to build a town is here
Weston-super-Mare (UK), launched 2010.
Produced for ‘Wonders of Weston’ by Situations, in association with Field Arts Projects, and funded by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment.
Wrights & Sites’ Everything you need to build a town is here is a 41-sited, permanent public artwork exploring walking, regeneration and built environment. Drawing on the collective’s walking practices to respond to the changing fortunes of a British seaside town’s fabric, the imperatives for the commissioned work were:
1. What role can performance and peripatetic practices play within the context of regeneration-driven ‘permanent’ public art work?
2. In contrast to single-sited monumental public art, what strategies might be developed for a more viral engagement between public art and the everyday built environment?
‘Wonders of Weston’ also featured commissions from internationally renowned contemporary artists Ruth Claxton, Tim Etchells, Lara Favaretto, Tania Kovats in association with landscape architects Grant Associates, and raumlaborberlin. It was produced by Situations, a Bristol-based public art commissioning and research programme, in association with Field Art Projects, an arts consultancy operating in the public realm. The programme was developed as part of the nationally acclaimed Sea Change initiative (2008-2010), funded by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE 1999-2011) on behalf of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), and was managed by North Somerset Council.
Wrights & Sites’ led a public guided tour at the ‘Wonders of Weston’ launch, wrote a chapter on the work for ‘The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of the Contemporary World’, and generated a subsequent concept for a new public art work at Bedford United in the Tamar Valley Area Of Natural Beauty.
Stephen made delegated decisions with curators, local authority, funders, designers, foundry, contractors and media. He represented the ‘Wonders of Weston’ artists in a BBC Radio 4 Front Row interview, through co-authoring an Artists’ Network Magazine feature with Claire Doherty of Situations, and by leading an Art in the Open curators’ tour.
Images: Stephen Hodge, Jamie Woodley, Polimekanos.