ixia: public art think tank

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Meshworking Cultural Well-Being

Date uploaded: January 16, 2013

Meshworking Cultural Well-Being

David Patten

Commissioned and published by ixia, the public art think tank

Following the launch of the National Planning Policy Framework in 2012, public art has been encouraged to seek new definition within the term 'cultural well-being'. Assumptions based on the mechanisms for public art established in the 1980s may now be redundant. Instead, artists, planners and funders may need to look again at the cultural ambitions of the post-War reconstruction programme, and how these informed the social aspiration for engaged arts practices of the late 1960s/early 1970s, to recover more meaningful ways to contribute to future planned development. Equally, it is now important for artists, and others engaged in the delivery and funding of public art, to establish new ways of working that recognise the difference between the 'democratisation of culture' and place-shaping 'cultural democracy'.

About the author:
For more than thirty years, the work of artist David Patten has promoted collaboration between artists, design professionals and Planning. He has contributed to the development of  Electric Wharf in Coventry (Bryant Priest Newman Architects and Complex Development Projects), winner of the RegenWM 'Outstanding Place of the Decade' award in 2010, and the refurbishment of Stourport Canal Basins (British Waterways), voted winner of the National Lottery Awards' 'Best Heritage Project' in 2009. He is currently working as 'Meshwork Worcester', an investigation of anthropologist Tim Ingold's notion of 'taskscape', with fellow artists Rob Colbourne and Stuart Mugridge and in partnership with Worcester City Council.

Click here to download the essay.(221 KB)