Monday, October 25, 2010

Anticipating the Wonders

After being involved in the “Weston Wonders” meetings from the start and gaining an insight into the process of getting this public art project off the ground, I have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the artworks in their locations. After seeing the photographs here on the blog, I have been meaning to get myself down and see the artworks as they take shape during the installation process, but somehow I just haven’t managed to see them.

I’ve got free time this week, but am making a conscious decision now NOT to go and get a preview. I have decided that I would like to see the work for the very first time on the launch day, so that I get the full impact of them, and then can compare my reactions to them to those of the general viewing public, and the other people I have been meeting with whilst learning about this project.

I am full of curiosity over what the works will be like, and how other people will view them. In light of the limited publicity over the project, I think they will prove to be quite a surprise to many people who live in the town who probably aren’t even aware they are to be unveiled. For me, the project fills me with excitement that some ‘real’ contemporary art is coming to my hometown. I hope that they will draw in visitors of another kind, and begin a shift in people’s minds that contemporary art is not just something you find in Bristol! There IS a fledgling art scene happening in Weston, you only have to look at some of the work that has been in The Bath Spa Gallery at Weston College over the past year. I am also making my own personal links with people involved in the arts in Weston through my involvement with this project.

My main hope is that this project will highlight that Weston could be home to a vibrant, flourishing arts scene, and will galvanize artists, writers and creatives to come together, make links, and make things happen. My fear? That the project will suffer the same attacks and criticism that other arts initiatives in the town have seen. The voices of those who feel that this project is a waste of money will probably be heard loud and clear, but I remain (naively?) hopeful of a positive response.


  1. My approach has been different; I've been watching the various works as they're being constructed and trying to observe people's reactions to them. Perhaps that's because you're an artist and I'm not, or maybe it's just a male/female thing.

    One thing that's intrigued me is the extent to which the artists are involved in the final construction and installation of the works. It's clear that much of the final work (in some cases, at least) has to be done by others. Does that affect them as works of art in any way, and if so, how?

    Perhaps that's a stupid question, but if I can get to the launch I may still be tempted to ask it.

  2. As it turns out, I have been unable to avoid some of the work in the run up to the launch, as I have seen some of the 'Wrights and Sites' signs and the work on The Winter Gardens. I feel like I am privvy to some big secret, and loved that while evryone today was looking at the Pier as they strolled along the seafront, I was crouched down examining a tiny sign that everyone else seemed oblivious to.

    And in terms of the artist/non artist and male/female thing? I think it is more to do with just seeming to have no time on my hands at the moment to achieve anything!

  3. I WISH I was able to be in Weston at the moment, I would love to be able to see the works being installed and to see if anyone notices (I love the image of Karen crouching down to read a W+S sign while everyone swarms to the pier). It's been really interesting to me that the most talk i've seen about WOW is from people that are outside of Weston- will try and formulate a blog post about it.