This book is a mapping of art in public, by artists with artists, seeing the lay of the land for public art since the shift in funding and provision for the arts from the early 2000s to the present. The ‘road trip’ was made in a series of short journeys that took place at intervals through 2014 and 2015.
This mapping was initiated by Katy Beinart, Jo Thomas and Jack Brown who make up Figure Ground. They visited and connected with emerging artist-led public art schemes, projects and initiatives around England.
As definitions of public art evolve, artists articulated what work in public means for them, and what form that work takes.
The Figure Ground Artists researched, met with, and debated with emerging and more established practitioners who have self-initiated projects or artworks. They took a mobile studio from place to place to artists in the places they make work, and to collect conversations, objects and images from their practice.
Frank Cartledge and Laura Krikke, who accompanied us for parts of the journey, and all the artists we met and who took part in the conversations.
Katarzyna Perlak, our resident photographer who came on several of the trips and took many of the photographs included here.
Our many hosts: Paivi Seppala LV21, The Royal Standard, Liverpool, Whitstable Biennial, Liverpool Satellite, Hackney Wicked Art Festival, In dialogue, Nottingham.
To Tidemill Academy who let us park the caravan in their playground when it wasn’t travelling and the children who used it.
Thanks to Connor FitzPatrick for creating the website.
Thanks to Primary Nottingham for offering to launch this book as part of the Art, Public and the Commons Public Seminar.
Thanks to Arts Council - England for funding the project.