Primary/Bristol: St Werburgh's Primary School
The development of St Werburgh’s Primary School’s annex at Cutter’s Brook is part of Bristol City Council’s Primary/Bristol series of artist commissions for primary schools commissioned as part of the Primary Capital Education Programme. As part of the development, Amsterdam based artist Jennifer Tee was commissioned by project curators Arnolfini in autumn 2013 to develop a public art work for the school working closely with pupils, teaching staff and the Head Teacher.
Jennifer Tee thinks of herself as a quasi-anthropologist, and is fascinated by cultural identity, rituals, and folklore. She creates installations, sculptures, videos, performances, and environments that tell or re-tell stories. Her works often amalgamate materials sourced from other countries—a palm tree from Brazil, bamboo from China—as the backdrop for choreography. Weaving is also a recurring theme in her works, whether in the form of spools and looms or tapestries. Her embroidery and festival-like performances fall in the direct lineage of the Situations’; she has also said that her work is influenced by Jean Tinguely’s machine assemblages, and the geometric minimalism of Ad Dekkers.
For St Werburgh’s Jennifer developed a suite of glazed window designs for the existing period windows that feature across the Cutler’s Brook annex site. In developing the work the artist investigated stained glass, stencilling and printing techniques that were deployed within the final artworks. A key point of investigation for the work was the school’s ‘Forest School programme’, an area of the curriculum that Head Teacher Claire Smith is particularly passionate about, along with Botanical illustrations which are themselves a recurring natural motif in Tee’s work, featuring in her recent commissions for ‘The Marque Public Art Commission’, Cambridge, and ‘Central Station’, Amsterdam’, both of which involved extensive research into flora and species at the University of Cambridge Herbarium and National Herbarium of the Netherlands.
The work was completed in Summer 2014 and can be accessed by appointment with the school.
This project has been made possible through funding from Bristol City Council as part of the Primary Capital Education Programme.
Jennifer Tee (born Arnhem, the Netherlands, 1973, lives and works in Amsterdam) has exhibited widely, with recent solo exhibitions at Project Art Centre, Dublin, (2013); Eastside Projects, Birmingham, (2010); Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam (2009), and SAFN Contemporary Art, Reykjavik (2007). Recent group exhibitions include Nether Land, Dutch Culture Center, Shanghai World Expo (2010), Double Dutch, Hudson Valley for Contemporary Art, New York (2009) and the Prague Triennale (2008). In 2004 she represented the Netherlands at the Sao Paulo Biennial. Tee is current developing major public art projects for the University of Cambridge and Amsterdam’s Central Station.
Arnolfini is one of Europe’s leading independent, contemporary arts organizations, and is the flagship art centre for the South West of England with 450,000 visitors annually. 2011 is the year of Arnolfini’s 50th anniversary. Since its foundation in 1961, Arnolfini has built an international reputation for commissioning and presenting innovative, experimental work in the visual arts, always with a strong emphasis upon audience engagement. Many thousands of artists and performers have been involved with Arnolfini during this time, often gaining their first opportunity before going on to long-term success, and this wealth of creativity has been appreciated and enjoyed by consistently large audiences. Much of this groundbreaking work would not have been made or shown in Bristol and the South West region without the Arnolfini. Previous major solo exhibitions at Arnolfini have included: Marcel Broodthaers, Bridget Riley, Richard Long and Liam Gillick, as well as more recently Cosima von Bonin in 2011.
St Werburgh’s Primary School
St Werburgh’s Primary is an inner city culturally diverse school in Bristol. The school is located in the heart of the vibrant St Werburgh’s area; which is within 2 miles of the city centre. Pupils range from the age of 4 years to 11 years old and the school has a rich and exciting ethnic mix which creates wonderful opportunities to celebrate difference and diversity within its community.
Bristol City Council
Primary Capital Programme (BCC, Skanska, LEP)
Bristol City Council