Transpire: 'What Lies Beneath Reflects Above'
Bristol City Council is currently in the process of completing a number of new schools in the City under the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme. Included in this series is St Bedes Catholic College, a Roman Catholic college situated in north Bristol which serves the Clifton Diocese of north and central Bristol, north Somerset and south Gloucestershire.
Transpire is a new art work by artist Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva for St Bedes and was installed in August 2010. Developed over the course of a year, and with an intensive 3 month period on site, the work comprises a magnificent 24ct gold-leaf tree form. Highly sensitive to changes in the ambient light the artwork was designed for a key stairwell where its entwined roots and branches extend over the ceiling, walls and windows, transforming a school stairwell into a magical internal space.
Highly sensitive to changes in the ambient light the artwork was designed for a key stairwell where its entwined roots and branches extend over the ceiling, walls and windows, transforming a school stairwell into a magical internal space. The tree, a metaphor for life, knowledge, and wisdom connects the rich inside space with incredible views of the landscape beyond.
Transpire is a response to the history, traditions and culture of the school, developed with the input of students, and staff, and working closely with the development architect. The adaptation of traditional techniques for contemporary settings, in this case Baroque stucco work and gilding, is not only typical of Hadzi-Vasileva's work, but here reflects the sentiments of self-confidence, vitality, freedom and spiritual ecstasy common to that era. Transpire attempts to explore the tensions between and within spaces, evoking a sense of mystery and complexity between that which lies beneath and that which manifests itself above.
Stucco Modelling: With the assistance of Matthew Odonovan.
Gilding and Finishing: With the assistance of Teresa Llewellyn
Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva is a Macedonian born artist, living in the United Kingdom, who creates ambitious sculptural works and site-specific installations. Working with materials that are unusual, precious, ordinary and ephemeral, from organic materials and foodstuffs to gold leaf, Hadzi-Vasileva's practice questions notions of death, identity and beauty. Central to the artist's approach is an interest in responding to the particularities of a given location, its history, environment and communities.
Art and Sacred Places
Art and Sacred Places promotes interaction between religion and art, largely by siting contemporary art in sacred places. It engages new audiences by exploring the relationship between art and spirituality, encouraging debate and understanding.
Art and Sacred Places works with leading and emerging artists to make new works of contemporary art in response to sacred sites and their communities. The organisation is non-denominational and embraces all religions. It celebrates and encourages the interaction of art and religion.
Bristol City Council
Art and Sacred Places
Building Schools for the Future (BCC, Skanska, LEP)
Bristol City Council and St Bede's Catholic College