I spent some time this summer creating a mediascape for the Sweet History? project. The project run by the Architecture Centre in Bristol aims to make information about the heritage built environment of Bristol interesting and accessible to young people and lifelong learners. It explored the impact of the sugar and slave trade on the heritage built environment of Bristol, and enabled young people from the Archimedia group (Knowle West Media Centre) to create a host of digital media on the subject.
Using the young people’s audiovisual content as a starting point a website, a trail map and finally the mediascape have been built introducing 23 landmark buildings and houses linked to 18th century Bristol and the triangular trades of sugar, slaves and tobacco.
For information and downloads visit www.sweethistory.org
My friend artist Tony Eastman has been collecting tiger related memorabilia for many years. He shares his passion for all things tiger with anyone interested in tigers; collecting; art or purely having a curious mind. In the past he has shown his collection in his garden shed, complete with curator/guide in costume, but time was right to get with the 21st century. A web site has now been built, of which I had some input (mainly photographing the collection). The site tigermuseum.com does a great job of showcasing the collection and sharing Tony’s magpie like approach to collecting and enthusiasm for life in general.
To mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Isambard Kingdom Brunel funding was made available for various events to celebrate his life and work. Sculptor Tony Eastman and myself made a joint application to produce an artistic response to the hard engineering of Brunel’s work.
Through detailed research it became apparent that during Brunel’s lifetime equally important advances were being made though leaps in creativity in art, music and literature. With this in mind our focus shifted in the search for a medium that would allow us to express the achievements of Brunel and his peers in the fields of the arts as well as in industry and the sciences, and simultaneously create a unique series of contemporary artworks. The art works would deliver factual information in a visually exciting way and be seen as a celebration of Bristol’s industrial past and cultural present.
The solution was to combine contemporary images produced by Bristol artists with textual historical parallels or timelines, and to create four large banners covering specific date ranges and linked visually to Brunel’s work. The banners would work visually on an individual level but would be strengthened when displayed as a group. Our intention was for the banners to be viewed by the general public in a busy Harbourside location with strong links to the City’s industrial past, popular with tourists and locals alike. Unfortunately our bid was unsuccessful.