Art for City North
City North is investing in making sure that its public spaces have a unique and distinctive character, by commissioning an artist to install permanent artworks as part of the design.
Four artists have been shortlisted for the commission. The selected artist will arrange activities with local groups and businesses as part of the process of developing their ideas for the artworks.
All feedback has now been received and is currently undergoing the review process. Keep visiting for updates and results of the competition.
Leaflets are also available in the reception at John Jones, the Art building, Morris Place, London N4 3JG and the Walnut Restaurant on the corner of the Arts Building.
I am proposing two options for City North, both of which work with the environment to inspire curiosity and surprise as people pass through this busy London hub. This is a place where people are in constant motion while buildings and objects shift and change around them. I want the work to reflect these transitions and changes, while also focusing on the public’s relationship to the space in a playful way. I will rely upon both natural and artificial light and the movement of the viewer to achieve this effect. In addition, both options have no visible framework holding them in place and therefore connect seamlessly to the existing space and its surfaces.
For the City North development, I propose to make a collective portrait celebrating the many faces and voices of Finsbury Park’s distinct community. The project would have three parts, firstly, a series of etched metal images of various sizes, set into the architecture of the City North site. Each would be a double portrait that I would draw of diverse pairings of people from the local area, whilst they are in conversation.
Secondly, I would record the drawings being made and the conversations taking place. This material would be used to create a film, revealing different life experiences, exchanges of personal stories, ideas and perspectives on the world. A reflection on the past, present and possible future of Finsbury Park that puts local people, dialogue and human connection at the centre of the work. The film would be screened at the new local cinema and beyond, and also available to watch online. Thirdly, the drawings would be illuminated through night time projections of the double portraits across the City North site.
As an artist, I work with drawing, film, installation, printmaking and soundtracks. I have shown work in galleries, museums, cinemas, public spaces and online. I’m interested in expansive approaches to portraiture, engaging with individuals and groups of people and the environments they live and work in. I’m fascinated by how we look at and engage with others and how the act of drawing can enrich our experience of the world, becoming a catalyst for discovery and insight into ourselves and human nature.
This artwork is a pathway of polished bronze containing the words and stories of local people. It is a chance for the people of Finsbury Park to connect their established community through the heart of the new development.
Within the paved street there will be a winding path of cast bronze sets created in collaboration with residents and animated with lighting. Each participant will add their words to one of the bronze castings and will keep a replica of their part of the design. In addition there will be an animated light projection of people’s handwritten sentiments onto walls in the evening.
musson+retallick have already carried out research in which local businesses and residents added words to a large drawing expressing their feelings for the area. The most common word used when asked what was positive about this community was ‘diversity’. This artwork celebrates diversity by inviting all local people to leave a permanent comment in the paving which will be continuously polished by people’s footsteps. Through the use of stories, and by leaving copies of each element in a large number of local homes and businesses, this sculpture makes connections between people who may not otherwise meet.
Carrie Reichardt & Karen Wydler
Our proposal is to install art works made of ceramic tiles in designs of beautiful shapes and patterns, inspired by textiles. These will go on the vertical columns and walls in the pedestrianised areas.
The images will come from community workshops where we collect stories from local people and local history and use these to print onto ceramic tiles. We use a technique where images are permanently fired onto tiles in a kiln, and so the stories and histories are there for everyone to see in the finished work.
Hand crafted work that carries the individual mark of local residents will affirm the value of everyone in society and give a sense of belonging. This will create art works that will not only look beautiful and striking when seen from a distance, but when looked at closely will reveal rich layers of meaning and interest.
By making this artwork a heritage project we will represent the past, ensuring that the chimneys and spires, the industries, trades and habits now lost, are remembered, and that the work is a celebration of this past whilst also embracing the future.