Exploring the ‘physicality of sound’ has shaped the creative vision behind the four public art projects commissioned as part of the Bristol Beacon Transformation.
Music and visual art are natural partners. Both artforms excite when genres are crossed, ideas bubble and conversations happen.
At Bristol Beacon you can experience and explore a permanent collection of artworks; from sound installations, to ceramics, to murals and sculptures. They explore the physicality of sound and can be enjoyed on an intense personal level and as a joyful communal experience.
The commissioned artworks bring the art of music-making to life in visual form. They enhance the venue through two central ideas:
- – Music-making as a shared, communal artform
- – The building’s social and cultural ties to the trading and manufacturing past of the city.
Together, the artists reframe the building for a modern audience. The artworks reference the Beacon’s history in a contemporary way and allow the organisation to move forward, empowered by the past.
The vision for the permanent collection was provided by Theresa Bergne, Field Art Projects and commissioned by Bristol City Council.
Motion Efficiency Study
By Linda Brothwell, 2023, Bronze.
Location: Bristol Beacon Lantern Facade.
Linda Brothwell is a visual artist based at Spike Island in Bristol who works internationally. She trained in goldsmithing, silversmithing, metalwork and jewellery and is interested in heritage, place-making and how people look after their surroundings. Her multi-disciplinary practice casts her as a maker of objects, tools and publicly sited interventions.
For this commission Linda has created a contemporary response to the neo classical façade of the building. Developed through a period of research looking at the history of both the architecture and key events that have taken place over time Linda has created a magnificent new work in bronze, her first large-scale work to date.
“This is the first permanent public artwork that I’ve done in the UK and it’s particularly meaningful to me that it is in the city in which I’ve lived and worked for almost a decade.”Linda Brothwell
“I began by researching at the history of the site, in particular the sounds and movements of people in and outside of the Lantern building. Working to create a visual representation which reflects some of those events to create an elegant and joyful work on a scale appropriate to the building. The piece I've created has been developed with a high quality of craftsmanship, with exquisite detail and colour, using materials that are sympathetic to and resonate with both the building and the city.”Linda Brothwell
Brothwell trained in Goldsmithing, Silversmithing, Metalwork and Jewellery. Her ‘Acts of Care’ series initiated a repair movement in the arts and earned recognition through international gallery support, the Jerwood Makers Open, and a place on the Design of the Year shortlist.
In 2019 she travelled to Japan as a Churchill Fellow researching ‘The Lifecycle of Tools in Japanese Culture’. Her testimony to the value of craft skills and tools was celebrated in an award-winning co-produced BBC4 documentary Handmade in Hull.
Field Art Projects was set up in 1999 by Theresa Bergne, a curator and producer based in Bristol commissioning artists to work in the public realm across the UK and abroad.
In the southwest she has delivered permanent artworks for Southmead Hospital, the Universities of Bristol and the West of England, for North Somerset Council in Weston-super-Mare as well as programmes led through community engagement in Hengrove and Barton Hill.
For the Bristol Beacon Transformation she has led the commissioning process, inviting the four artists to respond to music and sound and celebrate an artform that can be enjoyed both on an intense personal level and as a joyful communal experience.
Bristol Beacon is a place of welcome warmth and light.
The Beacon invites music makers, music lovers and music explorers of every kind to enjoy their spaces at Bristol Beacon, as well as Beacon Music Centre – their creative learning base in Southmead.
When you visit you can expect a friendly welcome. From meeting friends for coffee in the café, to joining for music lessons and live performances. The Beacon helps make space for you to experience the joy of music.
“One of our ambitions with the refurbishment of the Beacon is to create opportunities where we can profile the wealth of talent that exists within Bristol. We’re delighted therefore that two of the artists we’ve commissioned have a relationship with the city.”Louise Mitchell, Chief Executive of Bristol Beacon