Abstract artwork poster trail across Bristol and Bath marks end of five-year multimillion-pound creative research and development projectMonday, 30 October, 2023
Working together with students, Abigail Hunt, artist in residence of the five-year £6.8 million Bristol+Bath Creative R+D programme has created a series of abstract artworks that will be displayed at public outdoor sites around Bristol and Bath this November, celebrating the culmination of the pioneering collaborative project.
From train stations to universities, cycle paths to familiar outdoor buildings, collaged posters of differing sizes collectively known as ‘Visual Conversations’ will be displayed at a variety of locations, depicting the multiple pieces, people and places that fed into the first-of-its-kind partnership between Bath Spa University, UWE, the University of Bath, the University of Bristol and Watershed.
Launched in 2018, the Bristol+Bath Creative R+D was funded by the Creative Industries Clusters Programme and managed by the Arts and Humanities Research Council to connect the worlds of university research, technology and business and develop a shared vision for the creative industries of the future. Participants joined together to experiment with new and emerging technologies and developed prototype products and Abigail’s work will celebrate the cumulative journey of these shared experiences.
Each of the artworks have been created using imagery that has been shared by individuals that Abigail has met and worked with during her artist residency, including students from Bath Spa University and UWE, offering shared visual insights into the experiences and understanding of other perspectives of the wide-ranging parts of the Bristol and Bath programme.
Each poster will also include a QR code link to an online element of the artwork and wider insight into the story of the programme. Discussing her work, Abigail said:
“I am delighted to be celebrating five incredible years in this special way. The idea of creating collages came to be because the multiple elements, projects, strands, people, happenings, thinking and learning of the project are simply too great to comprehend individually.
“The concept of visual conversations has been collaged into artworks of multiple pieces and a sense of place and location has been the inspiration for the finished artworks that will be displayed as posters, leading an audience to view them across multiple Bristol and Bath locations. Whether viewers come across artworks by chance, or deliberately seek them out; whether they see just one of them, a few or even all of them.
“I am interested both by the impossibility of experiencing all these parts simultaneously, and by the fact that every viewer will have a different experience of seeing the work. I feel this expresses the sense of the scale of the Bristol and Bath programme and the huge variety of experiences and happenings it has supported.”
Katie Hanning, Bath Spa University BA (Hons) Creative Arts Practice graduate worked with Abigail on the project, she added:
“This project has been particularly relevant to me having been a student in Bath but living in Bristol. I appreciate Abigail's generosity in including students in the work, which in itself has created cross-city partnerships between us - something that we have been able to continue to build on through this opportunity and has led to even more partnerships and connections being created.
“The project has allowed me to bring my experience and utilise this and has offered the opportunity for development in various areas, as well as opened conversations around the networks and spaces within the two cities.”
15 November launch event
To launch the siting of the posters, Abigail has planned an event on Wednesday 15 November that incorporates a walk and train journey inviting people to cross the boundary between the cities, taking in some of the sites where the posters are displayed.
Meeting at the Watershed in Bristol at 1:00pm on Wednesday 15 November, Abigail invites people to join her to walk to Temple Meads Train Station from 1:45pm and catch a train together to Bath Spa.
Abigail will also give a short talk about the work during the train journey and then the walk will continue to Bath Spa University’s Locksbrook Campus, arriving at around 4:30pm.
All are welcome to join Abigail at Locksbrook Campus for a celebratory drink to mark the official end of her artist residency from 5:00pm.
The event is free but places are limited.
In addition to Bath Spa University and The Studio; its home for research, innovation and enterprise, thanks are extended to the partners and sites who are taking part in Visual Conversations. These include:
- The Holburne
- 44AD Gallery
- Milsom Place
- Bath Artist Studios
- Bristol Temple Meads Station
- The Galleries
- The Island, Bristol
- St Anne’s House
- Hamilton House
During its five-year span, the Bristol+Bath Creative R+D resulted in connections with 332 creative companies and freelancers, 34 new international collaborations, the introduction of 72 new creative prototypes and 634 public appearances. It also created more than 320 blog posts and reports and over 1.5m engagements with the public.
Visit the Bristol+Bath Creative R+D website to find out more.