Edible Playscape was an art proposal by Nils Norman for the City Centre roundabout, St James Barton. The roundabout, which is characteristic of post war city centre redevelopment, is an open area sunken below a network of highways
Nils Norman proposed converting the roundabout into a community allotment where a large sculpture would be sited, named The Monument to Civil Disobedience. The sculpture would also function as an adventure playground, and would be connected to the surrounding city by skywalks and bridges. The proposal, which takes the form of a two-sided poster, asks viewers to consider their own aspirations against the agendas of the organisations and agencies who determine the design and use of public space.
The Arnolfini and Bristol Legible City commissioned Edible Playscape as part of ‘Trouble Shooting’; an exhibition of the work of contemporary artists that addressed the public sphere through re-imagining spaces of leisure and considering the activities destined for those spaces which coincided with the exhibition ‘Para-Cities: Models for Public Spaces’ by Vito Acconci / Acconci Studio. The publication is available from Arnolfini bookshop at £5.00 ISBN: 9780907738664
Nils Norman was born in Kent, England in 1966. He studied fine Art Painting BA Hons at St. Martins School of Art in London. After graduating in 1989 he moved to Cologne, Germany. There he lived for three years and collaborated with the artists Stephan Dillemuth and Josef Strau at their experimental storefront project Friesenwall 120, during this time Norman also set up a small gallery space in London, which later became Milch. In Cologne Norman worked for one year assisting the German painter Gerhard Richter in his atelier.
His first US exhibition was at the Pat Hearn Gallery in Chelsea (with Denis Balk and Simon Leung), after which he began to be represented by the late Colin Deland at American Fine Arts. Norman founded an experimental space called Poster Studio on Charing Cross Road, London. This space was a collaborative effort with Merlin Carpenter and Dan Mitchell. In 1998 in New York he set up Parasite, together with the artist Andrea Fraser, a collaborative artist led initiative that developed an archive for site-specific projects.
Norman now lives and works in London. He exhibits internationally in commercial galleries, museum, and in public and alternative spaces. He writes articles, designs book covers and posters, collaborates with other artists, teaches and lectures in European and the US. Norman completed a major design project: an 80m pedestrian bridge and two islands for Roskilde Commune in Denmark in 2005 and has collaborated with Nicholas Hare Architects on a school playground project for the Golden Lane Campus, East London.