Innovative concepts for art in Finsbury Park

May 2013

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(NOTE: This is an archived press release.)

From pH water portraits to ‘signage hacking’, six Writtle College students have produced innovative art concepts to encourage people to engage with the ecology of a North London park in a new way.

Charlene Roberts, Sam Sheppard, Wes Tyler, Nick Boyt, Toni-Marie Harrold, and Estella Cumberford have produced The Park Projects to inspire visitors to Finsbury Park to be interested in art.

Each piece proposes to takes advantage of the park’s unique ecology in a different way, using a diverse selection of materials and techniques.

Charlene Roberts has produced Signs of the Park, which takes well-known traffic and pedestrian signs that are usually directing, informing and controlling and ‘turns them on their head’.

Charlene, who used a combination of digital production and traced silhouettes to create many of the signs, said: "I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce a new series of signs that were out of the ordinary, less commanding and more enjoyable to observe as a whole.

"These signs have been designed as light-hearted statement pieces, as an enhancement to the enjoyment of the park."

In pH Portraits, Sam Sheppard prints a series of portraits of workers and pedestrians using water from inside Finsbury Park. The water has included rivers, puddles and mop buckets to achieve a highly diverse set of pH. He then prints these images using a Universal Indicator primed paper.

Wes Tyler’s chalk drawing, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, celebrates 1967, the year that Jimi Hendrix burned his guitar on stage for the first time while performing in the heart of Finsbury Park, while sound artist Nick Boyt’s Sculptures of the Psyche proposes to place plaques in front of nothing to give the illusion of there being a sculpture in a location when there is not one, allowing the public to create a sculpture in their minds.

Toni-Marie Harrold’s work Furtherfield Dérive aims to encourage park users to create an online gallery that exists within social media, which can be found under #furtherfieldderive, while Estella Cumberford’s The Scene: Woven Words are woven paper fence installations inspired by the transient interactions that she witnesses and takes part in, especially in memorable locations, within daily life.

The project is being delivered through the Furtherfield Gallery, which aims to enable Finsbury Park to grow and thrive as a recognised centre for arts and inspiration within London. As well as an exhibition of the concepts - some of which have already been realised - there will be an online booklet and short video.

Marc Garrett, Co-director of Furtherfield, said: "We enjoyed working with the students and the artworks offer people new ways of looking at public space, the elements of its landscape, how it is signposted, and how our behaviour is controlled. Some of the artworks are funny and provocative inviting people to engage in unusual ways with activities, images, memories and feelings around the park and to experience and share their responses through social media. The e-book allows the artists to update their pages with new videos and experiences as the project develops."