The Public Art Strategy aims to deliver an art programme which responds the location of Eddington, the needs of those who live and work there as well as surrounding existing communities. Each art commission looks to enhance the unique identity of this neighbourhood and to raise a standard of integrated public art that has been recognised locally but also nationally and internationally.
The art programme works with artists whose in-depth research benefits from close engagement with local communities and other interested and relevant parties. This extended period of arts development allows the arts to be responsive to change and new communities as they arrive.
Permanent public art commissions were developed in partnership with the design team for key points throughout Eddington.
These works include:
Ruth Proctor, We Are All Under The Same Sky
Located at the University of Cambridge Primary School, the work describes the idea that we are all under the same sky, no matter where we are on earth.
The artwork is embedded into the fabric of the building, utilising the glass cloister circling the interior courtyard of the school as its canvas.
Each glass panel is imprinted with an image of the sky taken from locations around the globe. Under the main entrance to the courtyard the glass is deliberately left clear so school users can be under their own sky in Cambridge.
Winter & Hoerbelt, Fata Morgana Teahouse and Pixel Wall
These sculptures – a giant mirrored wall and a steel pavilion that visitors can enter and climb – are located at Brook Leys.
Both sculptures allow visitors to look at Eddington differently; either a mirrored surface causes the reflection to appear and disappear in the shifting light, or visitors can see an elevated view of the development through shining steel mesh.
The artists worked with master planners AECOM in the early stages of the design of the Western Edge, developing an underpinning narrative for the landscape of the ‘wanderer’, someone who journeys without destination or purpose instead focused on their perception and experience of their surroundings; the view, sounds and scents.
David Batchelor, Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain
Located in Community Square, next to the Storey’s Field Centre, this is a vibrant and colourful work.
It has seven giant discs which are brightly lit with LEDs. At any one time each of the seven discs will correspond to one of the seven colours of the colour spectrum.
As well as providing a focal point for the public space, each of these discs is also a rudimentary clock. At any one point a disc will show a single colour, but over the course of an hour it will slowly move through the entire spectrum – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet – returning to its starting colour on the hour.
Yelena Popova, Ripple-Marked Radiance (after Hertha Ayrton)
This tapestry for the Storey’s Field Centre is the final chapter in the first phase of public art commissions for Eddington. It celebrates human invention, exemplified through a reading of the work of pioneering scientist Hertha Ayrton.
The energy of the ripple, lightwaves and electrons that were Ayrton’s tools of work form a powerful metaphor for the energy of a new community at Eddington.
Ayrton herself, whose courage in pursuing scientific research in a largely male-dominated field, provides inspiration for young women to think of science as a career for them. This seems an entirely fitting response for Eddington’s central gathering place – a place of inspiration, community and collaboration.
The ArtScapers programme creatively explores Eddington with artists local primary school communities.
The programme supports young people and their school communities to become confident citizens constructing their own cultural lives. ArtScapers takes an open ended approach in which creative activity provides new modes of relating to Cambridge as a developing city. Artists commissioned through the public art programme have provided a rich resource for ArtScaping and inspired each year’s activities. It invites everyone to join in creatively with the process of change.
Developed collaboratively by arts and well-being charity Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination with colleagues from Goldsmiths University, the project builds partnerships with schools bordering Eddington. Children and the adults who work with them take on the role of ArtScapers exploring their city as it grows.
The surprising outcome of this work is that a new community is emerging out of the creative process of engagement. Parent helpers, children, artists, and educators are together becoming ArtScapers.
ArtScapers is impacting on academic teaching and research at University of Cambridge, Anglia Ruskin University and Goldsmiths, University of London where questions of sustainability and well-being are addressed through arts-based methods. This has led to academic papers, a successful research funding bid, inclusion in a research impact case study, and influencing knowledge and understanding at policy level.
An extensive diary about the process and a series of films plus links to articles in academic journals and books can be viewed at www.cambridgecandi.org.uk.
The residency programme is the backbone of the art programme for Eddington.
Artists are appointed to work in collaboration with different University of Cambridge departments relevant to each phase of the development. This provides a rich opportunity for artists to collaborate with world-class academic departments.
Another important aspect of the artists’ brief is that they are invited to respond and engage with the site, as well as its existing and future communities.
Past outcomes from the residency programme have included performance art, including The Choirs by Melanie Manchot, public film screenings, seminars, discussions, workshops and exhibitions.