Pylon and Pier
Loss of object and bondage to it; Fig. 2
VITRINE launched SCULPTURE AT as a public artwork commission in September 2014 on Bermondsey Square. Its continuing aim is to create a unique platform for temporary public sculpture by emerging and mid-career artists.
The initial programme (SCULPTURE AT Phase One) was conceived and developed through three projects in collaboration with artist Karen Tang to ensure that its development would be artist led. Each work stood in the square for six months: the first by Karen Tang (October 2014 – March 2015); the second by VITRINE artist Edwin Burdis (March – August 2015); and the third, Frances Richardson (September 2015 – February 2016), selected through an open call.
The choice to avoid common guidelines or need for permanence brought three unique, compelling commissions into fruition. This will remain at the heart of the project as we evolve it into its next phase.
SCULPTURE AT Phase Two, will launch in March 2017 and is developed through three projects in collaboration with Lucy Tomlins. This new phase will introduce a partnership with Contemporary Arts Society (CAS), and Pangaea Sculptors’ Centre (PSC) are playing a greater role, furthering its collaboration with VITRINE.
Each work will stand in the square for six months: the first by Lucy Tomlins (March – September 2017); the second by VITRINE artist Charlie Godet Thomas (October 2017 – March 2018); and the third a Swiss artist (March – September 2018), who will be named in early 2017 and is being selected by VITRINE’s founding Director Alys Williams and Swiss curator Claire Hofmann; A collaboration that reflects VITRINE’s commitment to promoting artistic dialogue between London and Basel, the two cities where the gallery has spaces.
“VITRINE is focused on artistic experimentation and material-, process- and installation-led practice. SCULPTURE AT was borne out of these ideas, so I’m delighted to see the project grow. There are, at present, limited opportunities for emerging artists seeking to work with public sculpture in London, which makes this project one of the few places in which such practices can be explored. Furthermore, by creating opportunities for artists who have not previously worked in the public realm as part of the programme, we are committed to developing a broader dialogue in artistic practice, with manifold and stimulating outcomes.” Alys Williams, 2016.
A public engagement programme incorporating workshops and activities with schools and local groups accompanied each commission, offering further opportunity for dialogue and wider audience reach. In 2015, VITRINE collaborated with Pangaea Sculptors’ Centre; presenting the symposium, ‘Public Sculpture: From Process to Place’, and a publication – including text by Ellen Mara De Wachter – as part of a shared aspiration to expand the discourse around sculptural practice. In 2017, we will collaborate with Pangaea Sculptors’ Centre and Contemporary Arts Society to present a larger art forum.
SCULPTURE AT Bermondsey Square (Phase Two, March 2017 – September 2018) is funded by Arts Council England and in partnership with Contemporary Art Society and Pangaea Sculptors’ Centre.
In Partnership with:
SCULPTURE AT Bermondsey Square (Phase One, September 2014 – March 2016) was funded by Arts Council England, Ideas Tap and Bermondsey Square Community Fund.
This programme was made possible with additional partnerships with Bermondsey Square Hotel, Colourpoint, Concrete Canvas Ltd, Inplas Fabrications Ltd, Pangaea Sculptors’ Centre, Perspex Distribution Ltd, Shortwave Cinema, Southwark Council, Team London Bridge, wearegoat and Zucca; and with media partners Art Review and Elephant Magazine.
The open call jury consisted of: Oliver Basciano, Marsha Bradfield, Nadia Broccardo, Matthew Couper, Sacha Craddock, Lucy Tomlins, Amanda White and Alys Williams. The symposium panel included: Sacha Craddock, Ellen Mara De Wachter and Rachel Withers.
Thanks to: Gary Foulds, Katie O’Connell, Michael Buxton and all the team at Bermondsey Square and VITRINE friends and patrons.