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University of Bristol announces appointment of Melanie Jackson as first Artist-in-Residence

Date uploaded: May 22, 2013

The University of Bristol has appointed artist Melanie Jackson as artist-in-residence at its residential site in Stoke Bishop. Melanie’s appointment is the first phase of the University’s public art strategy developed specifically for the historic gardens and parkland of the residential campus at Stoke Bishop, home to Bristol University’s Botanic Garden, where Melanie will base her work.  The residency will make both physical and social connections to the built and natural environments of Stoke Bishop, develop greater use of the public areas across the site and work across departments within the University including the School of Biological Sciences.

The public art strategy has been commissioned by the University and is funded by section 106 money released by the building of new Halls of Residence at Hiatt Baker. It also forms part of the University’s commitment and overall ambition for public art set out in its international public art programme in 2008.

Patrick Finch, Bursar and Director of Estates at the University of Bristol, said, “Our public art strategy is an integral part of the overall development of the University across the city as well as at the Stoke Bishop residential campus. As with our academic buildings we are committed to not only providing the best living and residential facilities for our students but also to providing public art that engages and provokes students and local residents and highlights the unique social context created by the Stoke Bishop site.”

Melanie has a broad practice whose work includes sculpture, drawing, moving image and the printed word. She will be artist-in-residence at Stoke Bishop until November 2013, pursuing two strands of enquiry. The first is the development of a series of works exploring the work and ideology of space, working alongside the Biological Science department and using the Botanic Garden as a starting point; and the second the development of a series of talks and events for students, staff and the general public.

Her next event will be on Tuesday 25th June, when she will co-host a Science Picnic with Frances Cartwright, plant scientist and STEM ambassador from the School of Biological Sciences. ‘Extraordinary Fauna’ will explore surprising facts and extraordinary fictions about plants as well as some potentially practical applications in solving ills and issues in the world today.

Independent Bristol curatorial organisation Field Art Projects has been appointed to produce the public art strategy for Stoke Bishop and is responsible for the initial artist residency and commissions for the site. The 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.

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Melanie Jackson, Towards A New Working Class: The Glaucous Aquatic Gleam (objects from The Urpflanze - Part 2), 2012

Melanie Jackson, Towards A New Working Class: The Glaucous Aquatic Gleam (objects from The Urpflanze - Part 2), 2012