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    Laying the Bounds, 2009

    Temporary Public Artwork
    Independent

    I devised and commissioned a series of temporary public artworks for northcabin between 2007-2008. Based in a small semi-circular operating cabin on Redcliffe Bridge, Bristol the programme was developed to give emerging artists the chance to make new work for an architecturally unusual space.

    northcabin opened up the possibility for other individuals and organisations to use the space for the display of contemporary visual art and is now part of Capacity Bristol: Temporary Use of Empty Buildings Programme. www.aprb.co.uk/opportunities/current/bristol-creative-space

    northcabin was funded by Arts Council South West, Bristol City Council, University of the West of England, Spike Island Associates and Alias. The bursary programme was supported by Interface at AN.

    Laying the Bounds

    then treated with a number of different finishes. Textures and layers of colours were built up and then sanded back, which created a multitude of visual associations, which referenced the urbane landscape surrounding the cabin.

    By encasing the cabin from within, the artist demonstrated the different traditions in which existing buildings are re-developed and come to contain distinct other forms. The work created a second space inside the cabin with a contrasting set of references, creating a tension between the two structural forms, which set out to challenge perceived hierarchies between architectural structures.

    www.helendemain.net

    About the site

    northcabin was based in a disused operating cabin on Redcliffe Bridge. The bridge was erected in 1939 and replaced a ferry, which connected Redcliffe with the City Centre of Bristol. The north cabin still contains the disused machinery that used to operate the bridge, which is now electronically controlled from the south cabin. Redcliffe is located in the old harbour district of the city, once a bustling district it now serves as a transitory space between the centre and the suburbs. The space provides an intersection between road, river, and pedestrian routes.

    Laying the Bounds, 2009, Helen de Main, part of northcabin. Photo: Max McClure.
    Laying the Bounds, 2009, Helen de Main, part of northcabin. Photo: Max McClure.
    Laying the Bounds, 2009, Helen de Main, part of northcabin. Photo: Max McClure.
    Laying the Bounds, 2009, Helen de Main, part of northcabin. Photo: Max McClure.

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