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
The reticence of warehouses and the opulence of banks. An interior after the Byzantine-influenced Italian Gothic manner of the Bristol Byzantine
By Giles Round 2023, St Bees sandstone, polished plaster, glazed tiles, terrazzo, carpet.
Location: Bristol Beacon Lantern Atrium
Giles creates sculptures and assemblages that employ geometric structures, monochromatic panels, lights and typographic schemes. For the Bristol Beacon he has created an architectural installation within the new lower floor of the historic Lantern building.
Drawing on the Bristol Byzantine movement of which the Lantern building is a prime example, Giles’ has created an artwork that integrates vibrant, authentic and exquisitely crafted materials into the renovated original architecture.
Giles has a deep knowledge and appreciation of art and craft’s ebb and flow and the reuse of techniques that have informed many genres and generations. For this commission, he has worked with handmade tilers, Craven Dunnill Jackfield to ensure the highest possible authenticity.
“The artwork is integrated into the architecture of the Lantern space. My desire from the beginning was to embed the work into the fabric of the building. Following research into the history of the building and the extraordinary architecture of Bristol, specifically the Bristol Byzantine, the design references the polychromatic decoration used on the façade. It is in part a portrait of the building itself.”Giles Round
Giles Round is an artist currently living in St Leonards-on-Sea with more-than-human companion Philip Seymour Hoffman Round. Round works across disciplines – including art, design and architecture – through a wide range of techniques and approaches.
Often taking the form of long-term, open-ended projects in which exhibitions themselves become the medium, Round’s works have at times produced organisations and companies as artworks. Through these, the artist creates conceptual frameworks to interrogate the role of the artist as an agent of transformation. For example, Round’s ongoing work, ’The Art Direction of the Noguchi Museum’ (2018–) is an enquiry into the role an artist might play as an embedded part of institutional and design teams, but also of society’s infrastructures and organisations at large.
Commissions include: 24 Guildhall Road Commission, NN Contemporary Art, Northampton (opening 2024); PAMHS Department, Great Ormond Street Hospital, London (opening 2024); Time passes & still I think of you, The Arbour, Brent Cross West Station, London (2023); Building Wrap, Friary Park, London (2023); Foyer Curtain for Queen Elizabeth Hall, QEH South Bank Centre, London (2018); Designs for a Neo-Brutalist Interior, Hayward Gallery Café, London (2018); Design Work Leisure, Art on the Underground, Blackhorse Road, Vauxhall and Victoria London Underground Stations, London (2015–)
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.
Craven Dunnill Jackfield works closely with artists, combining several of its specialist processes, to produce stunning and completely unique ceramic artworks. It produces bespoke murals for a wide variety of internal and external applications, from small domestic splashbacks, to large, public art projects.
“The four artists that were selected to deliver these commissions have proposed exciting new works that are sympathetic to their surroundings and will help to create an uplifting and joyful space that enhances the music and welcomes people in.”Louise Mitchell, chief executive of Bristol Beacon