Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Number 4, Broad Street, Stoke-on-Trent,
and Number 204, Gloucester Road, Bristol.

What has been going on in the windows of Number 204, Gloucester Road, Bristol and Number 4, Broad Street, Stoke-on-Trent over the last year? And how do they relate to each other?

Anna Francis’ current practice is involved in examining the impact of art and cultural activity on our changing cities and for this has embarked upon an investigation into the two window spaces, in order to try and uncover just what sort of an impact the current use of the buildings has had on their immediate environs.
This investigation has involved a number of activities;
- a photographic exploration into the context of the buildings in their surroundings;
- an excavation of the two sights, in order to uncover the remnants left by the previous artist/occupants of the window spaces,
- a public consultation process, which aims to look for the impact and recognition of the people using the streets where the spaces are situated.
This consultation process aims to find out what the public think about artists bringing the disused buildings in our cities back into use; and more specifically what impact the projects at No. 204 and No. 4 are having on the public.

Art and cultural activity are now being accepted as important factors in the regeneration of our cities; however, there is a sense that some governing bodies are viewing such activities as a cure-all, while others are yet to fully take on board the benefits of building art into their plans in a meaningful way. The investigations in Stoke-on-Trent and Bristol will show up the differences and similarities between the two places, and the reactions which the public are having to the artistic activities being undertaken there. This window twinning event marks the start of an ongoing project for Francis, examining the inherent problems of finding adequate and appropriate research methodologies for measuring the impact and success of public art activities (in their broadest sense.)

The findings from No. 204 will be displayed in the window of No. 4, and vice-versa. The No. 204, Bristol project will be installed on Saturday, 16th February, and the No. 4 Stoke-on-Trent project will be installed on Wednesday, 20th February, 2008.

No comments: