Andrew Kay: Yak Yak Yak

- October 27, 2015

Some Day My Plinth

I travel a fair deal and on my travels I love to see cities where streets are not paved with gold but adorned with public art. Across the world it would seem that creativity is honoured by being given a place in and amongst our daily lives. I’m not just talking about countries beyond the UK but in cities here too, sculptures, fountains, murals (by which I by no means include tagging) and so much more.
So why is it that in the city of Brighton and Hove there is so little. I have lived here 30 years now and I cannot think of much happening across those years. I can name the Kiss Wall, the doughnut on the groin, that odd but effective work on the pebbles that kids seem to think is a skateboard ramp and the ever-changing murals in Kensington Street that certainly brighten up the environment. I also like the marvelous iron gates on the Avalon building in West Street that can so easily be missed, but beyond that… well forgive me if I have missed something.
I know that we trade heavily on being such a hub of creativity, but where is the public evidence of this? Well keep your eyes peeled, not for a while yet but pretty soon a new initiative, called the Hove Plinth, will finally come to fruition.

 
I was recently invited to see the three winners of a competition to create works that will sit on said plinth revealed. It took place in the Mayor’s Parlour, a charming room with some rather good art on the walls in the Old Town Hall. There we were introduced to the artists and shown maquettes of the winning entries.Matthew-Davies-Matthew-Image-No-3
Each of the winners will see their work commissioned and placed on the plinth for between 12 and 18 months. After which a permanent site within the city will be sought for them to go on permanent display.

 
There was a buzz of excitement as each was revealed and first out was Escape by Matthew James Davies. His cast clear blue resin work is a sinuous twist of vibrant light filled joy, a celebration of movement made still. It was easy to imagine how beautiful it will look set against the changing skies and seascapes of Hove seafront. Whilst a solid form, it breathes an energy that could be seen as waves or as soaring starlings in a triumphant murmuration…
Next came Flight of the Langoustine by Pierre Diamantopoulo, inspired by a lobster pot wrecked by a stormy sea. His work, an enormous broken grill is penetrated by athletic human forms escaping to something beyond. There is a real energy to this and from the maquette it would appear to be truly monumental in scale.
Final Constellation by Jonathan Wright, which looks not unlike an orary into which iconic symbols of Hove have crashed. Those symbols chosen in consultation with Hove residents I believe. Perhaps my least favourite in maquette form it will no doubt be a work of ongoing development and still has much to admire. I really look forward to seeing all three and hope that this will continue beyond those three and become an ongoing project.
Of course to do this funds will have to be found and the monies required are not small. Hove Civic Society, the organisation behind this initiative have already raised pledges of £55,000 but much more is need to enable the project to achieve its full potential. To do this they have created a variety of support opportunities starting with one-off donations and rising to annual Founder Legacy Pledges of £50 a year and then rising through bronze, silver and gold. There are brochures with donation forms around the city.
Online donations can be made via www.justgiving.com/hovecivicsociety
For more information contact karin.janzon1@gmail.com
www.hovecivicsociety.org


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