Issue 285

Public art for all

Photo of Spellbound performance
Photo: Tim Richmond

People who 'don't do arts stuff' can't be expected to come to an arts event just because it's free, family-friendly and fun. TC Peppercorn explains why.

Public Art. It’s such a worthy concept that it merits capitalisation. It makes my heart beat faster because it ticks every box I hold dear like equality, accessibility, freedom, enjoyment and smashing the prevailing elitist cultural system of Britain.

But let’s back off a little before I get too heavy. I was raised on the belief that going to galleries, museums, the theatre, reading books and learning poetry was just stuff that ordinary people like us did. I’ve raised my kids the same...

Also in this feature

Photo of sculpture in atrium

Jane Willis gives advice on how to approach public art projects in healthcare settings so that everyone – patients, staff and artists – benefits.

Image of performance on Harris Steps

Artist-led and community-focused projects are key to placemaking, says Susan Jones. Just look at Preston, where the In Certain Places programme has been doing it for 12 years.

Photo of rehearsal

Fifteen members of the public invited to take part in the rehearsal of a playlet will be actively involved in the direction, choreography and lighting. Emma Smith discusses what she hopes it will achieve.

Photo of forest chair

What happens to sculptures and other artworks in a forest trail over time as they surrender to the elements – or to the native bats, asks Cathy Mager.

Photo or artwork in hospital

A public art programme at Southmead Hospital in Bristol has breathed soul into the hospital building and created a sense of community, says Gillian Taylor.

Photo of outdoor classical concert

As part of a project to build new audiences for orchestral music, Rachel Escott explains her ‘stumbled across’ tactic to bring music to people in everyday places.

Photo of performers in A dance WE made

Creating accidental audiences, be it on beaches, in shopping centres or at bus stops, is increasing the number of people who feel comfortable with contemporary dance, believes Sophie Inkster.