Council launches new public art collection

24 May 2013 @ 6.13 pm
| News

One of Rachel Welford’s etched glass discs
Issued by City of York Council

Seven new artworks commissioned by City of York Council for its new customer centre and offices have been completed and installed.

Six artists, four of whom are from York or are Yorkshire-based, were by the developers York Investors LLP to create public art for West Offices, supported by Yorkshire-based creative company Beam.

Councillor Sonja Crisp, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism, said: ““York is an innovative city with vibrant creative and education sectors, and we wanted to reflect that in our new customer centre and offices.

“With funding from site developers York Investors LLP and support from Beam, we commissioned an experienced lead artist, Jo Fairfax, to produce artworks himself and to support three other professional artists – Susanne Davies, Rachel Welford, and Mat Lazenby – to create a collection of public art.

“”We also wanted to ensure that there was a legacy to this project in at least two ways. We invited internationally-known artist John Newling to collaborate with students from York St John University and Bar Lane Studios to create a ‘Market of Hidden Labours’ – an exchange of ideas on art between the students and the public which we hope will inspire an annual event.

“We also aim to establish a Rolling Gallery in the public areas of West Offices, to offer a wide range of community arts practitioners the opportunity to showcase their projects, and to encourage and promote the creative endeavours of both students and residents of the city.””

Suzanne Davies with her work of coloured wires
Suzanne Davies with her work of coloured wires

Using media including lighting, glass etching, film projections, artworks made of wire and of steel, the finished artworks will all be on display for the first time. In addition, the new catalogue of public art will be launched for public view on the West Offices page of the council’s website.

This catalogue lists the contributions of all artists involved in the commission:

  • Jo Fairfax has used LED lights synchronised with train arrivals from and to Edinburgh and London which light up and go out sequentially across the columns as the train arrives and then departs. He’s also edited a film projection of an old-fashioned station master busy directing trains on an platform, which is projected on a wall of the former booking hall, now the customer centre.
  • Using the central three-storey space at West Offices, Susanne Davies has strung coloured wires to connect the different levels of the atrium for customers and staff to enjoy as it catches the light.
  • Taking a line of York-born WH Auden’s poetry, Mat Lazenby cast it in steel and sited it in the forecourt of the customer centre.
  • Glass is Rachel Welford’s medium and she has etched and cut it into a panel and disks to reflect the shapes of York’s buildings and historic and present-day maps of the city.
  • While digital experts Bright White have created an interpretation station where all people, of all abilities and impairments can find out more about the artworks.

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