Art Across The City opened tonight
16th April 2011
The hard work and determination of the Locws International team and volunteers paid off and the works by six artists appeared around Swansea, as if by magic.
It was touch and go as to whether or not some of the pieces would be ready in time. Rhys Himsworth's massive monolithic white box, covered with 98 LED screens, was switched on - and it worked!! However, as the team were leaving for a well earned trip to the local cafe, a faint whiff of burning was detected. On inspection inside the big white box some of the wiring was found to be smoking.
The fault was found, put right, and 'Industrial Revolution', the majestic work by Rhys Himsworth, was fully functioning for the opening.
It was another story for Alex Duncan's work 'Holocene' on Swansea's beach. The objects placed here are made from the polystyrene used as floatation aids for boats of all shapes and sizes. As this material finds it's way into the sea when vessels are damaged it is weathered into pebble sized shapes and wash up all along the coast. Previously the artist has collected these small pebbles washed up on the shore and exhibited them in galleries. Locws International and Art across The City has given him the opportunity to re-examine this interest, make enlargements of the pebbles he'd previously found and create an ambitious work that interacts with the elements, changing colour and floating on the incoming tide.
Locws International's aim of public engagement with creativity and ideas outside of art galleries through 'Art Across The City' is to be applauded. But Alex Duncan's beautiful and poetic work attracted some unfortunate human interaction.
The night before the opening one of the objects was set alight and the fire service had to attend. Holocene has been removed from the beach and re-located at the Waterfront Museum. They are friendly, tactile objects that attract attention. Now, instead of the sea, the public can gently roll them in the courtyard of the museum.
Out on the streets Bedwyr Williams meets cage fighters Daniel and James on the notorious Kingsway where the artist has immortalised the impressions of their oversized high heels in the pavement on the site of a celebrated punch up.
Daniel and James, otherwise known as Lionheart and Lightsout (where the title of the work comes from), had been enjoying a night out dressed as women. They had been accosted by some drunk thugs but within seconds the drag queens had laid them out across the pavement. The incident was caught on video. The cctv video footage then follows the dazed thugs as they stumble down the street and became an instant hit on the internet.
Using the video documentation the exact spot of the knock out punches was easily determined on the street. As the internet is fickle and quickly moves on to the next best thing Bedwyr Williams wanted to make a more permanent memorial and decided to commemorate the incident on the site where it happened.
Little Bird by Laura Ford is an incredibly moving piece. Possibly a child in a bird costume this sculpture brings out a human response as much as an aesthetic one. Maybe the human desire to protect this little figure is even stronger than the appreciation of its form.
Set all alone in a large space it feels so vulnerable. The shoes and young legs give it a character that, although hidden by a bird costume, is incredibly moving.
Art Across The City can be seen around Swansea untill the 13th of May.
Also See -
Art across The City video
No Sleep Till Sunday news item