Warming the Wonders of Weston

Issue date: 21 October 2010

Weston On Friday 29 October, Wonders of Weston, a permanent programme of remarkable and memorable public artworks will be launched in Weston-super-Mare. Part of the national Sea Change initiative which seeks to support the revitalisation of English seaside towns, Wonders of Weston will launch as British Summer Time comes to an end and the period conventionally thought of as off-season in the seaside resort begins.

Avoiding the kiss-me-quick cliché of the British seaside, commissioned 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 Weston-super-Mare – 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 new artworks include sculptures that transform viewing points out to sea, a kaleidoscopic mobile pavilion and a night-time luminescent phenomenon at the Marine Causeway.

The launch event Warming the Wonders of Weston on Friday 29th October will celebrate the completion of the permanent artworks. From 3.30pm on the last day of half term, family activities will include musical performances at raumlaborberlin's Silly Scope at Weston station and Tania Kovat's HOLM at Madeira Cove, a treasure hunt and storytelling at Ruth Claxton's sculptural installation at the Model Yacht Pond. Those interested in meeting the artists will also be able to take a walking tour with Wrights & Sites or listen to a reading by Tim Etchells at the Winter Gardens Pavilion prior to the switching-on of his new neon light work.

For further information on the day's events, visit the project website www.wondersofweston.org to download a full schedule, map and Wonder Hunt, the young people's guide to the Wonders of Weston. The Information Hall at the Friends Meeting House on the corner of the High Street and Oxford Street will be open from midday on Friday 29th October, offering behind-the-scenes information from artists' sketches, drawings and models and a chance to see video interviews with the artists. Also, look out for the VW Camper Vans at each site for tea, cake and information on each of the works.

Situations at the University of the West of England, the public art commissioning and research programme behind Ivan and Heather Morison's remarkable Black Cloud shelter pavilion in Bristol in 2009 and producers of Alex Hartley's Cultural Olympiad project Nowhereisland for 2012, conceived and produced Wonders of Weston in association with Field Art Projects, an art consultancy that operates in the public realm. Wonders of Weston is managed by North Somerset Council and funded by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) on behalf of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

For interviews with curators or artists, more information or images, please contact:
Kate Gordon, Communications Manager, Situations, UWE
T: 0117 930 4282 / 07980 921961, E: press@situations.org.uk

Notes to Editors

About Sea Change
The national Sea Change programme is managed by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) on behalf of DCMS. It has the overarching aim of placing culture at the heart of the renewal of England's coastal towns. Sea Change is a capital grants programme over three years that grants awards to local authorities. Its aim is to use culture to make a difference to seaside resorts, contributing to sustainable, social and economic regeneration. www.cabe.org.uk/seachange

About Situations
Situations is a public art commissioning and research programme based at the University of the West of England, Bristol, experienced in commissioning innovative artists' projects outside conventional gallery or museum contexts, and developing curatorial research, public events, talks and seminars and publications. www.situations.org.uk

About Field Art Projects
Field Art Projects is an art consultancy that operates in the public realm. Field Art Projects believes that art and design can play an invaluable role in enhancing our enjoyment of the urban and rural environment. It has a decade of experience commissioning visual artists, designers and performers to create permanent and temporary public artworks. www.fieldartprojects.com

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