It’s been great getting to know Bristol’s harbour – I feel quite at home there now. Over the past couple of months, I’ve been finding my way around the harbourside as a Green Capital Artist in Residence, working occasionally at the Create Centre on a series of work for the Big Green Week (9-17th June), scouring the surrounds for retrieved bits and pieces for my sculptures, exploring new areas with my son and walking my dog there in between it all. Saturday (9th June) was the culmination of months of preparation. The final tweaking of my floating Diatoms in the harbour by the Arnolfini, Family Mash Up drop-in workshop at the Arnolfini, launch of our Artists in Residence Exhibition at the Create Centre, Cumberland Basin and Green Week party later in the evening, also at the harbourside. Huge thanks to the Green Week, Create Centre, Arnolfini and Harbour teams for all their support.
Even parking was bliss! I was allowed to park in the Harbour car park opposite the Arnolfini, normally restricted to Harbour officials, in order to unload and meet the little boat skippered by Miles from the Harbour team. We needed to sort out 3 of my floating Diatoms – installed a few days earlier, but which had got tangled, turned uspside down or gone astray in the recent high winds. It was the first day of Green Week and it was glorious sunshine at last! With my son and Miles on board, we managed fairly swiftly to secure the Diatoms into position and have a little boat ride before I had to get to the Mash Up workshop I was running in the Arnolfini’s Light Room.
I was amazed at the turnout for the workshop – a constant buzz of people actively engrossed in creating their own floating sculptures sparked off by some of my resources, various reclaimed materials I had compiled and their imagination. There were loads of children – even some toddlers – making pieces. Some families brought their own recycled stuff to use. I had lovely helpers via the Arnolfini, who gave up their time voluntarily that sunny afternoon. Looking out of the Light Room Window, we could view the Diatoms below in the harbour and relate it to the workshop theme of organic structures (and a bit of sci fi thrown in). The results were wonderful! (See article in Ecojam).
Across from the Light Room is the Reading Room, where my sketchbooks are currently on display, so I took a peak at them in their new special setting.
From there, all packed up, it was a neat dash to the Create Centre upstream to celebrate the opening of our Green Capital Artists in Residence Exhibition. The overall Exhibition looks great, I think – a good mix of work by 8 artists working in very different media – linked to eco ideas in some way. With a couple of hours to kill before the evening doo, I wondered back down to the Arnolfini harbourside. It was brimming with people out in the late sunshine, ballons flying above; boats and Diatoms floating in the water. Bristol looked vibrant. Later, we (Green Week Artists) met up at the Secret Green Pass Party at Jack’s Pavilion, Harbourside for the official Big Green Week launch. Milo Newman, one of the Green Week Artists, was awarded a prize for his beautiful seed encrusted photographs. I was very pleased that my work was highly commended.