Chatterton on the Beach


MUF were commissioned as artists on Bristol's Urban Beach - a temporary city centre space initiated by Demos for the summer of 2007. muf conceputalised the beach as a catalyst space, a place where seemingly exclusive territories could be made permeable to one another.


The resulting project, Chatterton on the Beach is a piece of creative research that investigates what it takes to bring the heritage of the 18th century boy poet, Thomas Chatterton, to the territory of contemporary childhood, framed within the rich heritage of boat building still present on the site.

The research culminated in a multi-media promenade performance by water, made by muf in collaboration with Kev the poet, the children from WUF (Waring Underdown and Francombe house / Avon Youth Association) and the Chatterton Society. The performance is an actual journey played out as a snapshot of a fantasy journey to a place between the real and the imaginary. The invited audience to the boat journey was selected as an act of social engineering bringing together the developer, council officers, young people, local scholars and artisans, in order to reveal a demographic normally invisible within the wider community.


Since 1996 muf has established a reputation for pioneering and innovative projects that address the social, spatial and economic infrastructures of the public realm. The practice philosophy is driven by an ambition to realize the potential pleasures that exist at the intersection between the lived and the built. The creative process is underpinned by a capacity to establish effective client relationships that reveal and value the desires and experience of varied constituencies.

Access is understood not as a concession but as the gorgeous norm; creating spaces that have an equivalence of experience for all who navigate them both physically and conceptually, muf deliver quality and strategical durable projects that inspire a sense of ownership through occupation.

  • Commissioner

    Bristol City Council

  • Produced by


  • Partners

    Chatterton Society and Redcliffe Futures

  • Supported by

    Bristol City Council