ixia: public art think tank

ixia has taken over the ownership and management of Public Art Online from Arts Council England. The design and content of the website are currently being reviewed.

Bookmark and Share

Andy Holden appointed to create his first permanent artwork for Bristol

Date uploaded: January 15, 2014

The University of Bristol has commissioned artist Andy Holden to propose a new permanent artwork for its residential site in Stoke Bishop as part of University’s citywide public art programme. Holden’s appointment is the next phase of the University’s public art strategy, which has been developed specifically for the historic gardens and parkland of the residential campus at Stoke Bishop.

Holden – who was recently described as a ‘Rising Star of 2014’ by The Observer – will propose a public work for Stoke Bishop, home to six of the University’s Halls of Residence. Holden works in a wide variety of media and multiple forms of presentation, from plaster, bronze and ceramic objects to music, performance and large outdoor sculpture. This will be his first permanent public sculpture and it is expected that it will be unveiled in September 2014.

Holden was awarded the commission by the University of Bristol and curators Field Art Projects for the range of his practice and the humour and flair with which he speaks about his work and contemporary art practice. The University and Field Art Projects are also delighted to offer him the opportunity to suggest a permanent artwork and to thereby extend his practice into an area he hasn’t previously explored.

Holden commented, “I want to make a work that somehow reflects upon the nature of learning in a University environment; one which allows us to consider the process of learning and which uses art to help us understand how we come to make sense of the world around us. Rather than the process of academic learning, I’m interested in how lessons are taught and in how we absorb information in the context of a University environment.”

Patrick Finch, Bursar and Director of Estates at the University of Bristol, said, “Following the successful first programme of our public art strategy last year, the artist residency carried out by Melanie Jackson, we’re looking forward to welcoming Andy Holden to the University and to receiving his proposals for a permanent artwork to further enhance the Stoke Bishop site.”

Holden will be holding a series of events in Bristol as part of his relationship with the University of Bristol, including a re-working of his performance lecture entitled LAWS OF MOTION IN A CARTOON LANDSCAPE for students and the public on 24th February*. In May 2014, his exhibition, MI!MS (Maximum Irony! Maximum Security), will tour to Spike Island**. This ongoing body of work focuses on a key moment in his evolution as an artist in his hometown of Bedford and is now a major exhibition consisting of a series of seven film installations that will be touring the country this year.

Finch added, “The University is committed to providing the best residential facilities for our students across the City and the Stoke Bishop site is our largest single development. Our public art strategy is a key component of this commitment, as well as building links between the University and local communities. An artist such as Andy will help open the University up to new audiences and, we hope, open new audiences to the arts.”

Independent Bristol curatorial organisation Field Art Projects was appointed in 2012 to produce the public art strategy for Stoke Bishop and is responsible for the artist residencies and commissions for the site, including the recent residency by Melanie Jackson which culminated in the production of a new artist publication, THE NEXUS, launched with a performance event in October 2013. 

Holden’s appointment is part of the University of Bristol’s public art strategy and is funded by section 106 money released by the building of new Halls of Residence at Hiatt Baker.

The public art strategy sets out guidelines for commissioning public art that are consistent with the University of Bristol’s commitment to best practice and to engage directly with the University’s work, as set out in its international public art programme in 2008.

*Click here to book tickets to the performance lecture, LAWS OF MOTION IN A CARTOON LANDSCAPE.
**MI!MS will be showing at Spike Island from Saturday 3 May to Sunday 29 June.

Images (from left): Boulder Stage, Wysing Art Centre, 2010 and The Unquiet Grave, Latitude Festival, 2012

Images (from left): Boulder Stage, Wysing Art Centre, 2010 and The Unquiet Grave, Latitude Festival, 2012