The Steering Group of the “Passing Places” project, led by Rebecca Jenkins, who are creating a piece of public art for Driffield, have shortlisted four artists of national standing who all expressed an interest in working with the community of Driffield to create an artwork for the town.
The artwork will form part of a larger trail on the Way of the Roses cycle trail from Morecambe to Bridlington which passes through the Riverhead area of town.
Rebecca said:“This project is about finding a lead artist with vision, experience and ambition who has the skills needed to work with a community to channel our ideas and input into creating something special for the town which we can be proud of. We were delighted with the standard of applications received and have shortlisted four artists who will all be available on April 19 to talk to members of the public about Driffield, about what kind of art we want for the town centre, and what we would say to those travelling through about where we live”
Claire Binnington, town clerk says “All four artists are highly experienced and have their own way of working – that is why we want to encourage as many as people to come and meet them as possible and have their say in who should work with our town’.
The shortlist is as follows:
PETER NAYLOR is a local artist living in Beverley who has gained national recognition from the art world from his award winning memorial to the 158 Squadron at Lisett airfield. He says “I have been very fortunate with my own 158 Squadron Memorial into gaining an insight into the remarkable uplifting qualities that public art can achieve. I want us all to be proud of this. I welcome the chance to help in Driffield’s prosperity, survival and self-esteem without doing anything to damage its exiting ambience”
JOSEPH HILLIER is an experienced sculptor based near Hexham, Northumberland with over 15 large scale pieces installed successfully nationally and internationally. His work concerns how everything is made of innumerable parts, from atoms, molecules and cells to people, societies, cities and planets. “My approach would be to spend time at the possible site locations, watching how they are used and might be used when there is art there” Joseph often uses digital technology to inform his work “one possibility would be to undertake a motion capture project in the marketplace with young people, using digital gaming technology”
LEO is an exciting visual artist working in London and Berlin who visited Driffield in December before writing to express his interest in the project. His work is ideas led and employs a broad range of media from photography, video, light projection and text to dry stone-walling. Leo’s strength lies in his ability to involve himself in a new community in order to allow cross-fertilisation of ideas, and has recently consulted with miners, church groups, schools, folk singers and local craftspeople in Northumberland and on the volcanic island of Solund off the west coast of Norway. “I would take up a residency in a work space in Driffield to use as a base, studio and meeting place, where workshops, presentations and discussions could be held.
ALAN PERGUSEY is a visual artist from West Yorkshire whose extensive experience includes working with the market town of Todmorden to create artworks for the town centre – “I have a passion for creating focal points of public art in the environment that bring a unique identity to a location, introducing colour and textures and intriguing details into the big spaces that make up our towns, cities and rural areas”
After the consultation on April 19 one artist will be selected to work with the community until September this year to develop ideas, concepts and designs for an artwork for the town. The chosen theme for the artwork is rural heritage including the Michaelmas Hirings at which workers from all over the East Riding came to the centre of Driffield to find work. It also includes farming practises, and the canal and its associated old buildings – all of which have shaped the nature of Driffield and its community over the years.
In September the project will then enter its second phase in which planning permissions will be sought, extra funding accessed, and the realisation of the artwork will take place. Such has been the positive reaction towards the project that Driffield Town Council have added their support to a bequest from the estate of Mr Jackson of Jackson Robson Solicitors, and the project will also benefit from extra funding from the Sustrans managed Way of the Roses public art project.
Anyone wishing to receive further information or to express their interest in the project can contact Rebecca on firstname.lastname@example.org or following the blog driffieldpublicart.blogspot.co.uk