Today, 18th July, marks the launch of The East Contemporary Visual Arts Network’s (ECVAN) New Geographies, a three-year Arts Council England-funded project that invites members of the public to choose locations for 10 major site-specific visual arts commissions across the east of England.
ECVAN is seeking ‘overlooked or unexpected places’ in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. Nominations submitted thus far include the Petrified Forest of Mundon, Essex; the Concrete Pyramid off Great Yarmouth’s coast, The Chapel of St Peter-On-The-Wall in Bradwell-on-Sea, the abandoned Tesco site in Chatteris, Cambridgeshire; and Pontins Holiday Park, Hemsby.
Nominations can be submitted via a dedicated website (www.newgeographies.uk). Following further consultation, ten leading UK and international artists will be commissioned, with the first announcement made in January 2018. The commissions will be unveiled in Summer 2018; Autumn 2018; Spring 2019; Summer 2019 and Autumn 2019. The commissions will be accompanied by an extensive community engagement programme and an artist and curator development initiative.
Donna Lynas, Director, Wysing Arts Centre and Chair, ECVAN, says: ‘The idea is for us to create a new map of the East of England, one based on personal thoughts and reflections rather than historical or economic centres. Any location will be considered, whether poetic or prosaic, and if selected artists will respond to these places by making work that will be sited in each of the locations. We hope these new commissions will be enjoyed not only by the people and communities that nominated them, but also bring visitors who will be able to explore the East of England through this new map of ideas and reflections; these New Geographies.’
Hedley Swain, Area Director, South East, Arts Council England, said: ‘New Geographies is an exciting project that will explore the unique landscapes and rich heritage of the East of England and then immortalise them through the creation of new contemporary art works. Community engagement really sits at the heart of this project and I look forward to seeing many more people of all ages and backgrounds getting out to see contemporary visual art, and perhaps being inspired as artists themselves.’
We at ArtAttack are so excited for the project, which gives the people the opportunity to dictate where public art in their area will be created! Stay tuned!