Did you know that the Birmingham Big Art Project plans to commission a major new piece of public art for the entrance to Eastside Park, close to the main exit of the proposed HS2 terminal? The project is being co-ordinated by Eastside Projects, who'll announce the names of the five shortlisted artists later this month. An exhibition of their proposals at Millennium Point is planned for June/July 2016.
As part of the commissioning process, Eastside Projects are seeking support for the plan through a programme of public engagement that will include school and university projects as well as a series of talks and exhibitions. Among these is a project that will involve second-year BA Art and Design students working in collaboration with those on the BA (Hons) course in Architecture.
Last week, fifteen Art and Design students came along to the Archives here at BCU for an introduction to the Public Art Commission Agency's business archive. This organization managed public art projects in both the UK and overseas between 1987 and 1999, and the students had the chance to see archival material relating to two of the major projects it was involved in: Raymond Mason's Forward and Antony Gormley's Iron: Man. Over the next few weeks, they'll be making a series of return visits to explore the archive in more detail with a view to understanding more about what needs to be considered in making proposals for new public art and how these might be presented to the public.
By Easter, they'll have applied this knowledge to making their own proposals for new public art works for Birmingham. They'll also collaborate with architecture students in making proposals for a support structure to display both the archival material and the students' creative response to it. We'll keep you posted about any major developments.