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Examples of Public Art in the South West: Bristol

This list provides a selection of public art projects in the south west. The aim of this sheet is to direct people to key projects within each geographic area and is therefore not intended to be a comprehensive listing of activity in the south west. Please note that the information on the projects has been supplied by the commissioners and we are reliant on them for the accuracy of the information provided. Where possible, we have included a name of someone you can contact for further information.


Arnolfini, Bristol (ongoing):

Arnolfini Centre for Contemporary Arts, Bristol, photograph by Adam Faraday Arnolfini Centre for Contemporary Arts, Bristol, photograph by Jamie Woodley

The redevelopment of the Arnolfini in Bristol was designed by the architects Snell Associates, with the artist Susanna Heron working as an integral part of the Design Team. The project took almost seven years to complete, from artist/architect appointment in early 1999 to reopening in September 2005. It involved two successive gallery directors as client during the process, and finally handed the finished building onto a third director. The final project did not involve a direct commission to the artist, but her input to the process has been essential in creating a highly successful new space for contemporary art.

Contact: Sharon Tuttle, Marketing Co-ordinator, Arnolfini

Tel: 0117 917 2316; Email: [email protected]

Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health PartnershipNHS Trust (2006):

Blueskyfence entrance artwork by Walter Jack; photograph Paul HighnamTactile ceramic coping by Marion Brandis for the Older Adult Functional Ward Garden at Callington Road, Hospital; photograph Paul HighnamEntrance Glazing by Stuart Low in the Older Adult Unit, Callington Road Hospital; photograph Paul Highnam Walnut tree seat by Angus Ross in the grounds of Callington Road Hospital; photograph Paul HighnamWater feature (limestone) by Mat Chivers for the gardens of the Rehabilitation units at Callington Road Hospital; photograph by Paul Highnam Sculptural seating and café furniture by Angus Ross and vinyl floor designs by Chris Tipping in the CTLM reception building at Callington Road Hospital (CTLM - Central Therapies and Learning Management); photograph by Paul Highnam

17 site-specific artworks - part of Moving On, the largest mental health public art project in the UK - were unveiled in June 2006 when the first service users moved into the new campus-style mental health unit - Callington Road Hospital, in Brislington, South Bristol. The commissioned artworks include a large-scale entrance sculpture, water features, glazing, ceramics, textiles, floor designs, custom designed furniture and a projection piece.

Designed and developed in consultation with service users, the art aims to enhance the environment for service users and staff. The specially created artworks demonstrate that people care about the environment in which care is delivered. They help create special places - for rest, reflection, conversation. Some of the works are calm and contemplative; others bring colour, vibrancy and interest to entrances and living spaces.

The Faculty of Health and Social Care at UWE Bristol are conducting a qualitative evaluation of this project.

Also see North Somerset.

Contact: Jane Willis, Willis Newson Arts Consultants

Tel: 0117 924 7617; Email: [email protected]


@-Bristol (2000):

@ Bristol on Bristol's Harbourside aims to make science, nature and the arts more accessible and engaging. Eight major public art commissions link the public open spaces around the theme of reflection and exploration. "Aquarena", a water sculpture by William Pye, can be drained to create a performance space; there are light pieces by Sue Webster and Tim Noble in the unique underground car-park; "Small Worlds" by Simon Thomas commemorates the work of physicist Paul Durac. Other works include "Zenith" by David Ward, "Beetle" by Nicola Hicks, "William Penn", "William Tyndale" and "Thomas Chatterton" by Lawrence Holofcener, "Jasmin" and "Bill and Bob" by Cathie Pilkington and "Millennial Beacons" by Martin Richman.

Contact: Annie Finnie, Exhibitions & Programme Director, @ Bristol.

Tel: 0117 915 7159

Avonmouth Bridge (2001):

Link to larger image: Stronghold, metal sculpture by Pat Daw, 2001, Avonmouth Bridge, Bristol.

A new sculpture, "Stronghold", by Pat Daw, has been installed on the Pill side of Avonmouth Bridge on National Cycle Route 4. Commissioned jointly by the Highways Agency, Hyder, Costain and Cleveland Bridge, it marks the strengthening and widening of the bridge and commemorates the engineering expertise of the 200 people involved.

Contact: Robin Miller, Highways Agency.

Tel: 0117 945 6876

Bedminster Family Practice, Bristol (2004-2005):

Atrium light feature by Annie Lovejoy and Mac Dunlop; photograph by Alan Russell, Bedminster Family Practice, BristolAquarium with text by Annie Lovejoy and Mac Dunlop; blown glass by Sue Nixon; photograph by Alan Russell, Bedminster Family Practice, BristolGlazing in waiting room and meeting room by Annie Lovejoy and Mac Dunlop; photograph by Alan Russell, Bedminster Family Practice, BristolWaiting room window by Annie Lovejoy and Mac Dunlop; photograph by Alan Russell, Bedminster Family Practice, BristolMeeting room window (detail) by Annie Lovejoy and Mac Dunlop; photograph by Alan Russell, Bedminster Family Practice, BristolPoetry panels by Annie Lovejoy and Mac Dunlop; poetry by Alyson Hallett; photograph by Alan Russell, Bedminster Family Practice, Bristol

'Marking the Transition' is a seriesof site - specific artworks for a newly built Health Centre in Bristolby artists Annie Lovejoy & Mac Dunlop.

Seven new commissions were created for the glazed entrance foyer, atrium

space, waiting area and upstairs meeting room. All of the works are designed to be cohesive in relation to each other and the architectural aspects of the building.

They are inspired by qualities pertinent to the previous and new location; physical aspects, functionality and most importantly, the aspirations, and experiences of staff and patients.

Dr Gillian Rice has received a significant research award from NHS Estates to evaluate the effect of the new enhanced premises on staff / patient well-being. The research is due for completion in 2006 and the results will be published in a peer reviewed journal in 2007. The project was funded by the GP partners, Arts Council England, South West, Arts & Business, the Irene Wellington Educational trust and the Quartet Community Foundation.

Read the project report.

Contact: Annie Lovejoy

Bristol Legible City (ongoing):

Link to larger image: Pero’s Bridge by Eilis O’Connell, 1999. Bristol Harbourside. Photo: Mark Simmonds. Link to larger image: Bird Box by FAT for High Life, Queen Square, Bristol, 2001. Photo: Apex News and Pictures.

This project seeks to facilitate the development and implementation of regeneration projects within the city centre and hopes to create high environmental quality by giving quarters/neighbourhoods their own unique identity. It also aims to improve key pedestrian linkages by providing sculptural markers, directional signing and visitor interpretation. The pilot project is running in Broadmead, where artists are commissioned to produce bespoke designs for street furniture, lighting, paving etc, which will be unique to that neighbourhood. The artwork is designed to deal with issues like traffic calming, pedestrianisation, creative lighting schemes, street events and animation. Projects to date include "Walkie Talkie", "High Life", "Pedestrian's Friend", city centre promenade, city gates and regeneration sites in Broadmead, St Mary Le Port, Canon's Marsh, Temple Quay and St Pauls.

Contact: Aldo Rinaldi, Senior Public Art Officer, Urban Design Team & Planning Services, Bristol City Council, Brunel House, St George's Road, Bristol, BS1 5UY

Email [email protected]

Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, United Bristol Healthcare Trust (1998): 

Link to larger image: Speech and Language Reception Desk by Louise Block, 2001.Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.Photo: Jerry Hardman-Jones. Link to larger image: Prayer Room, lead artist Catrin Jones, poetry by Elsa Corbluth, calligraphy by Lisa Scattergood, table by Matthew Smith and Jonathan Jones, 2001.Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.Photo: Jerry Hardman-Jones.

The Arts Project at the hospital aimed to commission a variety of special artworks, ranging from integrated interior design to innovative, digital and interactive works. A pilot arts, education and schools project, in collaboration with Watershed and Arnolfini Education Departments, resulted in the creation of a children's website by digital artist Michelle Duxbury and poet Bertel Martin. 

The new hospital incorporates an artists' studio for an ongoing programme of artists in residence, an outpatients' waiting area designed flexibly to enable film, video and other performance events to take place out of hours, a gallery for two-dimensional work, a children's gallery area where 3D work can be displayed and intranet and internet facilities for digital arts projects.

The design phase involved Eva Elsner (residence pilot and "Small Worlds Boxes" project and exhibition), Annie Lovejoy (new technologies strategy), Ray Smith (design collaboration pilot project) and Kit Williams (kinetic clock for main entrance). The design development phase, which received a Lottery award, enabled Ray Smith ( to collaborate with the interior design/architect team, Whicheloe Macfarlane MDP, on internal finishes on floors, walls and ceilings. It also enabled collaborations between the team and artists Catrin Jones, Roger Michell and Louise Block on the prayer room, hydrotherapy pool room and speech and language therapy area respectively.

Lucy Casson, Ruth Shaw, Rosemary Shirley, Jim Bond and Liz Scrine created small niches inserted in the staircases at children's height.

Other artists involved in the commissioning process included Tony Neilson (main reception desk), Andrew Smith (external sculpture), Carolyn Black (digital work and x-ray waiting room), Sonja Andrews (courtyard banners), Frank Egerton (wall relief), Smadar Samson (CAHMS waiting area), Eleanor Glover (wood relief), Walter Jack (Oncology waiting area).

Colour arts catalogue, a guide to the commissioning process or information on the ongoing Arts Programme available.

Contact: Ruth Jacobs, Arts Co-ordinator, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, Paul O'Gorman Building, Upper Maudlin Street, Bristol BS2 8BJ.

Tel: 0117 342 8807 Email: [email protected]

Cabot Circus

Ackroyd and Harvey's 20 metre high sculpture at the gateway to Cabot Circus Photo: InSite Arts 2008The central roof at Cabot Circus created through a collaboration between artist Nayan Kulkarni and architects Chapman Taylor. Photo: InSite Arts 2008Neville Gabie's 'R310 RCF Ford Mondeo'  involved the systematic recycling of a car to create a reinforcing steel bar within Cabot Circus car park. Photo: InSite Arts 2008Copper etched portraits of site workers by the artist Dryden Goodwin are sited at eye level on one the main escalators at Cabot Circus. Photo: Insite Arts 2008Susanna Heron's distinctive glass artworks for the House of Fraser store. Photo: InSite Arts 2008Vong Phaophanit and Claire Oboussier's neon installation in the Cabot Circus car park. Photo: InSite Arts 2008

Cabot Circus is a £520 million mixed-use development of buildings, streets and cityscape on a thirty six acre site in the centre of Bristol. Some fifteen years in planning, the creation of a major new retail and leisure destination to regenerate the dilapidated Broadmead area was achieved by way of a joint venture between Land Securities and Hammerson, called the Bristol Alliance. From 2001 onwards InSite Arts worked with the Alliance on the planning and delivery of an extensive public art programme, involving the commissioning of both temporary and permanent artworks over a period of seven years leading up to Cabot Circus’ opening in Autumn 2008.

Read our case study

Conatct: Customer Services, Cabot Circus, The Management Suite, Glass house, Bristol BS1 3BX

Tel: 0117 9529 360, Fax: 0117 9529 301, Email:  [email protected]    

Castle Park Project (1991/1993):

Link to larger image: Bench in wood by Illingworth and Partridge, 1992.Castle Park, Bristol. Link to larger image: Litter Basket by Dail Behennah, 1992/3.Castle Park, Bristol.

This was one of the first and largest public landscape and art commissioning projects in the south west. There were numerous commissions from artists and craftspeople as part of the city centre park refurbishment. Artworks include railings by Alan Evans, Jim Horrobin and Matthew Fedden, seating by Alan Tilbury, Alan Peters and Illingworth & Partridge, sculptures by Peter Randall Page and Ann Christopher, banners by Tony Eastman, Vizability and Sue Ridge, waste baskets by Dail Behannah, bridge by James McCullough, play area designed by Andy Frost, ceramic floor by Vic Moreton, fountain by Kate Malone and carved lettering by Sarah More, with poetry by Denis Casling.

Contact: Senior Public Art Officer, Bristol City Council.

Tel: 0117 922 3466

City Vistas ('Neither here, nor there', 2006):

'Neither here, nor there' by Lisa Scantlebury as part of City Vistas, Bristol, Central Promenade, Central Promenade, Bristol.Photo: Stuart Quinn/Apex; reproduced by kind permission of Axis.

As part of Architecture Week 2006 in the South West region, four cities had their vistas dramatically changed. Huge canvas structures were installed in busy urban spaces during June that aimed to, quite literally, alter the way people see their surroundings; drawing attention to the architectural environment and encouraging a fresh look at familiar surroundings.

In Gloucester, Swindon, Bristol and Plymouth, Bristol-based artist Lisa Scantlebury, erected digitally rendered trompe-l’oeil images. Measuring two and a half metres high by over nine metres wide, the works responded to the characteristics of each individual city and invited passers by to stop and think about how we relate to the urban environment and reconsider the impact it has on daily lives.

The project was funded by Arts Council England (South West).

Follow this link to download a discussion paper about this project in Adobe Acrobat format, 41KB.

Contact: Carolyn Black, Project Manager

Email: [email protected]

Colston Hall (2003/04):

Lead artist, Michael Brennan Wood, has worked with the design team on the redevelopment of Colston Hall, in order to identify art commissions integral to the building, animate the interior and exterior spaces both during the day and at night and create a new music centre and refurbished concert hall.

Contact: Senior Public Art Officer, Bristol City Council.

Tel: 0117 922 3466

Harbourside (2003 - date):

Crest Nicholson appointed Tim Knowles as lead artist for Harbourside in November 2003. He has been responsible for a budget of well over £1 million to curate and deliver temporary and permanent public art.

Working closely with master planners Edward Cullinan Architects and landscape architects Grant Associates, the objective was to develop an arts vision for one of the largest regeneration projects in Europe.

So far, works by Tim Knowles, Langlands and Bell, Richard Box, Janice Kerbel, John Pym and Dail Behennah are complete. Other artists selected for Phase Two of the public art project include Simon Faithfull, Julie Verhoeven, Sans Façon, Daphne Wright and Matt Calderwood.

Field of Play by Tim Knowles:

Tim Knowles is a London-based artist whose work is exhibited widely both nationally and internationally, and is currently on show in You’ll Never Know - a Hayward Gallery Touring Exhibition. As with Field of Play, all of Knowles’ work is generated by processes beyond the artist’s control, be it a parcel travelling through the post, the full moon’s reflection on undulating water recorded as a long exposure photograph or pens attached to the tips of tree branches drawing onto an easel as the tree is blown by the wind.

Weathervane by Janice Kerbel:

Designed in stainless steel to complement the galvanised steel plant room on the HBOS plc building, Janice Kerbel’s artwork is a deceptively simple structure. Constructed with all the traditional features of a weathervane, with an arrow showing wind direction, it also has symbolic links to the world of finance. It displays mankind’s ability to predict changes in weather conditions alongside the forecasting of market conditions within the business world. The weathervane also has a third link with Bristol’s history as a seafaring port.

The Pavilion by Dail Behennah:

Dail Behennah was appointed to collaborate with architect Nick Childs, of Childs+Sulzmann, with the aim of creating a community building in which art and architecture merge. Dail chose to design the balustrade, doors and windows so that their moving shadows would animate the building. The balustrade comprises two layers of rods held together with decorative bars, which cast shadows that move across the upper deck throughout the day and appear to flicker when people walk past them as different elements come in and out of focus.

Read the artist and architect’s notes on collaborative practice.

Secret Industry by John Pym:

The stairwells and lift lobbies of multistorey car parks are not usually areas where people pause to admire the architecture, so John Pym used this to his advantage. The model walkways and ladders replicate their full-scale counterparts and are a playful way of suggesting an alternative, unseen service industry at work within the building. Superficially mundane, some people may use the car park for years without being aware of their presence, while others will notice straightaway. The artist sees it as a reward for those who look more closely at their surroundings

Parallax by Richard Box:

Artist Richard Box has installed Parallax, which is 200 metres of fibre optic catenary lighting traversing Cathedral Walk. It links the two distinctive pink and blue semicircular 360 apartment buildings. The piece was inspired by a previous sculpture he produced called Chapter Eight. The two ropes of golden-yellow light interlace the two buildings. Soaring through the air, their bright swooping arcs create a carnival feeling, inviting people into the space they outline.

Domain by Langlands and Bell

Domain serves as a sculpture and tranquil seating area. Carved on to the surface of the stone is a circle of 45 top-level domain codes, commonly known as internet country codes. These evoke thoughts unique to each person’s experience - global communication and circulation; collaboration and exchange; journeys of discovery; expectation; space, time and change. As a non-fiction abstraction, the codes are landing points offering departures into the imaginary, where human activity may be explored through the places and structures we inhabit, and the routes which link them.

Download leaflet, Harbourside’s Hidden Gems: A Public Art Trail in Adobe Acrobat format, 1.33 MB.

Contact: Tim Knowles, Lead Artist

Email: [email protected]

Knowle West Health Park - The Art of Wellbeing (2002/2004):  

Three year programme offering opportunities for public artists and local people to animate interior, exterior and digital spaces and explore health issues.  Features work by Luci Gorrell Barnes, Karen Brett, Barbara Disney, Deborah Jones, Michael Pinsky, Benedict Phillips, and Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva.

Contact:  Annie Beardsley. 

Tel: 0117 377 2256

Merchants' Academy: First Impression by Tod Hanson (2008)

Merchants' Academy, Bristol; artwork by Tod Hanson; photo by N-Large (2008) - detail Merchants' Academy, Bristol; artwork by Tod Hanson; photo by N-Large (2008) - detail Merchants' Academy, Bristol (2008), drawing of facade by Tod Hanson

The artwork on the facade and interior walls of Merchants’ Academy has been created by artist Tod Hanson, giving the Academy and its pupils an identity unlike any other school. Tod worked with pupils, staff and the Academy architect, Penoyre and Prasad, to develop his designs, which incorporate elements of traditional heraldry and the crests of the Merchant Venturers.

Contact: Jane Porter, Project Manager, Gingko Projects

Tel: 07887 838 184 Email: [email protected]

St Paul's Learning and Family Centre (2003/04):

Glass, mosaic and low relief ceramic mural by artists Chris Trow, Barbara Disney and Valda Jackson.

Contact: Jane Taylor

Tel: 0117 903 9752 Email: [email protected]

Spacemakers, Hartcliffe (2003/04):

A young person's design project in Hartcliffe, Withywood and Knowle West, with artists Cleo Broda and Kathrin Bohm. It enabled young people (13-15) to develop design briefs and work with built environment professionals to realize their vision for the area.

Contact: Gillian Fearnynough, Director, Architecture Centre, Bristol

Tel: 0117 922 1540 Email: [email protected]

Sustrans: Art & the Travelling Landscape (ongoing):

The National Cycle Network created by Sustrans is not only an intricate web of alternative transport arteries, it is also the longest outdoor gallery in the world. Interspersed along the 7000 miles of cyclepaths are over a thousand sculptures and other public works of art. Sites are free and open to all.

Details of Sustrans artworks in the Bristol area.

Information about Sustrans:

Symespace, Hartcliffe (2003/04):

Symes Avenue development with Morrisons - a research and consultation project to achieve an integrated approach for architecture, landscape design and public art.

Contact: Gillian Fearnyough, Director, Architecture Centre, Bristol

Tel: 0117 922 1540 Email: [email protected]

Temple Circus, Temple Way (2007):

Walter Jack Studio were asked to create a public artwork for Bristol's busy inner ring-road. The Corinthian order colonnade they have created encourages people to walk behind the columns and find that there is a beautiful short-cut to Bristol Bridge and the city centre. However, the columns have a trick up their sleeve. They very slowly rotate. The colour adjacencies between top and base gradually change (one revolution every eight hours) and the view for office workers and passers-by changes.

The artwork was commissioned by Terrace Hill (Templar Ltd).

Watch a film* of the columns rotating.

Contact: Paul Channing, Walter Jack Studio.

Tel: 0117 939 3336 Email: [email protected].

*To view this file you will need the free QuickTimeplug-in for your web browser. If you don’t already have QuickTimeplug-in you can download it for free at theApple site at

Temple Gate

Temple Gate, BristolTemple Gate, BristolTemple Gate, BristolTemple Gate, Bristol

Developing a Public Art Strategy at Temple Gate in Bristol
Client SCPD Ltd, Architects Aedas, Local Authority Bristol City Council

A plan was commissioned by Aedas to work up a Public Art Strategy at the Temple Gate site in Bristol. The strategy at this complex site addressed array of different outcomes. A clear ambition of all parties was for the site to become a Bristol landmark. As well as contributing to this aspiration, the art was expected to generate a sense of intimacy and some sense of atmospheric separation between Temple Gate and the transport that thunders around it.

Essential to the strategy was giving due consideration the site’s massive historical and cultural legacy. It sits on parts of the layout of city’s medieval city walls and provides a route that connects some key sites connected with the career of I.K. Brunel. It also has a direct sight line to St. Mary’s Church, one of the most important spires in South West England. Shortlisted artists were asked address these important cultural themes in their proposals.

Following a competition involving a number of candidates, the artist Tony Stallard arrived at a solution that combines an awareness of contemporary Bristol life with its history and archeology. He achieved this by delivering a series of workshops in which local residents were asked to contribute their own ideas and stories; this material was edited to form a narrative of the lives of the local community, with the intention that these would be written into ribbons of steel to be laid next to a line of light tracing the line of the old city walls.

Temple Quay (2004):

Sculpture by John Aiken, 2004, Temple Quay, Bristol

An artwork over a hundred metres long, by JohnAiken, interprets the route of the historic Portwall through this newdevelopment. At key points, modular sculptures in polished black graniteappear, each building on the form of the last to become symmetrical benches,which are underlit with blue neon. The last bench sits over a large,underground, illuminated and environmentally controlled room that housesand protects the Rivergate, with an enlarged glazed viewing aperturethrough which the archaeology can be viewed.

Contact: Geoff Wood, Director, Working pArts.

Tel: 01422 884538 Email: [email protected]

University of Bristol - Dorothy Hodgkin Building (2003/04):

’Double Gazing’ windows with changing digital images by Heinrich& Palmer, 2004.University of Bristol Centre for Neuroendocrinology.

This landmark new building in the centreof Bristol provides dedicated medical research laboratories for theUniversity of Bristol Research Centre for Neuroendocrinology. The windows, "Double Gazing", by the artists Heinrich & Palmer,comprise changing digital images which reflect the research takingplace in the building.

Contact: [email protected] or [email protected]

Wellspring Healthy Living Centre, Bristol (2005):

Link to larger image: Reg, sculpture by Lucy Casson, 2004.Wellspring Healthy Living Centre, Barton Hill, Bristol. Link to larger image: Foyer of Wellspring Healthy Living Centre, Barton Hill, Bristol: Reception desk and staircase by Walter Jack, floor by Marion Brandis, window by Anne Smyth, and sculpture, Reg, by Lucy Casson.

This new healthy living centre in Barton Hill has recently opened. A small group of residents, known as HP2, has overseen the entire project and worked with architects, Quattro Design, artists, the construction company and Bristol North Primary Care Trust. HP2 commissioned seven artists - Marion Brandis, Lucy Casson, Anne Smyth, Walter Jack Studio, Julian Coode, Mat Chivers and Springboard Design - to work on different elements of the entrance courtyard, reception area and signage.

Contact: Sarah Winch, Arts and Media Development Co-ordinator

Tel: 0117 304 1429 Email: [email protected]

For further information email: [email protected]

© Public Art South West, February 2007