The Pavilion on Harbourside (2006) was a collaboration between architect, Nick Childs, and artist, Dail Behennah, to produce an exceptionally beautiful building on the quayside in Bristol as part of Crest Nicholson’s Harbourside development in Bristol city centre.
The balustrading is reminiscent of basket work and references Dail Behennah’s interests in weaving and woven structures. It takes advantage of the southerly aspect of the site to cast complex patterns of light and shadow.
The artist began working with her usual grid structure and was excited by the idea of using mixed metals to add colour, until the structural engineer pointed out that different metals can set up electrolytic currents and eat each other.
The balustrade is a double layer of steel rods and as you walk along it the lines at the front and the back come into and out of focus and flicker. Although it is made of tons of stainless steel the overall effect is light and almost filigree, and it is calm.
The work was crafted by Grail from the Forest of Dean who took great pains to work out a way of countersinking all the welds to get the achieve the shadow efffect, moving and lengthening and shortening throughout the day.
Dail Behennah began working as a contemporary basketmaker in 1990, making constructed rather than woven, sculptural objects.
Recently she has undertaken larger scale work which is less related to basketry but can be seen as a logical development when viewed in the context of her work as a whole.
She has exhibited exhibited widely in Britain, Sweden, Japan and the USA. Public collections include the Crafts Council Collection; Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery; Castle Museum, Norwich; Somerset County Museum; Bankfield Museum, Halifax; Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; Doncaster Museum & Art Gallery; Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool; Worcester Museum & Art Gallery; New Ruskin Gallery, Sheffield; Plymouth City Museum & Art Gallery; and in the United States, Racine Art Museum, Wisconsin, and the Museum of Arts & Design, New York.
Dail has lectured and taught in Britain, Sweden and the United States, often basing workshops on the theme of mapping, an interest which stems from her degree in Geography.