We’re excited to share one of our artist commissions, Undercurrents, a sonic ruttier, a poem created by Libita Sibungu that explores Bristol Beacon’s history and position on the water, re-contextualised in resonance with African diasporic experiences and Afrofuturism.
The audio artwork was developed collaboratively through a series of workshops with black artists, writers and historians with a connection to Bristol in response to field and hydrophone recordings gathered in 2022.
The artwork is inspired by a 15th century ruttier: a long poem and map recited and memnorised by sailors at sea to guide them as they navigated. The poet Dionne Brand subverted this ruttier in her 2001 novel ‘A Map to the Door of No Return: Notes to Belonging’. Libita used both the original ruttier and Brand’s novel as context in her workshops to explore pathways of remembering African Diasporic people living in the city of Bristol.
Libita describes the artwork as “not about an end destination, its about process and reflection to reimagine the present, impacted by the ongoing rupture, the afterlives, of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Whilst making way for the flood, grief and rage that comes with that, for any catharsis to happen’.
In her workshops, co-facilitate with artists Imani Mason Jordan, Kayle Brandon and Felix Taylor, Libita gathered responses in a “listening ceremony with water” that formed the basis for the sonic poem Undercurrents.
Commissioned by Bristol Beacon.
We’re delighted to announce that the Bristol Beacon reopens today after five years. At the heart of this transformation project are the works of four artists: Rana Begum, Linda Brothwell, Giles Round and Libita Sibungu.
After five years, the Bristol Beacon opened its doors with a new piece of music from the pioneering Bristol-based Paraorchestra, who have collaborated with celebrated electronic composer Surgeons Girl and AV experts Limbic Cinema to create an audio-visual collision of sound and light, ‘Trip the Light Fantastic’.
The evening was followed by a Housewarming event at the weekend which saw 20,000 people celebrate the venue in a free, day-to-night festival with over 60 acts, from grassroots groups to well-known bands.
Mayor Marvin Rees described the building as “a 100-year legacy for Bristol; it is a venue designed by the people of Bristol, for the future of Bristol.”
The four artist works bring a contemporary response to the building designed by Levitt Bernstein Architects, and add a richness to its interior whilst drawing on its history.
We will be sharing more images later this month, but in the meantime you can read more about the project here.
Curated and Produced by Field Art Projects and commissioned by Bristol City Council.
I’ve been working with artists Rana Begum, Linda Brothwell, Giles Round and Libita Sibungu on a series of commissions as part of the Bristol Beacon refurbishment project.
The artworks are a response to this iconic building, its history, architecture and role as a venue for music-making. They include the textiles and fabrics within the new performance spaces, an architectural installation within the historic Lantern space, a contemporary intervention on the façade of the Lantern building, and a work that draws on Bristol Beacon’s relationship with the water that surrounds and flows through the city.
You can read more about the project here and look out for further posts later this year as we begin to share the development of each of the commissions.
Commissioned by Bristol City Council.
Please join us at Arnolfini on Wednesday 17 November for an artist talk with Alice Channer.
Alice Channer (b. 1977) is a London-based artist working with sculpture who has exhibited internationally for the past 15 years. Over long periods of time, she immerses herself in industrial and natural materials and production processes to find forms to develop as sculpture. Her method is both experimental and precise, collaborating with people, machines, and materials to bring multiple bodies and voices into her polyphonic works.
In this talk, Channer will use words, images and objects to talk about her first public sculpture, Nanowires, commissioned for the new Engineering Building at The University of the West of England, curated and produced by Field Art Projects.
The artist will describe the processes of exchange, collaboration, endeavour and imagination that built the sculpture. The talk will discuss Nanowires in the context of her wider practice and the politics of materiality she has been articulating in recent work, especially her commission for Artangel, Lethality and Vulnerability; her work for Liverpool Biennial 2021, and her solo show Megaflora at Large Glass, London (all 2021).
To book a ticket visit Arnolfini’s box office here.
Find further details of Channer’s work at www.alicechanner.com.
Image credit: Lethality and Vulnerability by Alice Channer, 2021. Photo Thierry Bal
Join me on Sunday 19 September to watch the premier of this wonderful feature documentary that interweaves personal testimony with rare historical and 8mm family archive to tell the story of how a modern art movement was born alongside the new nation of India.
If you are interested in modern Indian art, or in India’s recent cultural history and its impact on the city once known as Bombay, then this is a film for you. With contributions from Salman Rushdie and Anish Kapoor and music by Talvin Singh.
Following the film there will be an opportunity to take part in a Q&A with Producer Behroze Ghandy, Director/Editor Dilesh Korya and Executive producer Michael Poole. To book tickets, go to the Arnolfini website here.