Bay Watch

Locws International is pleased to announce five new temporary public art commissions for Art Across The City 2015 for their 15thanniversary. In that time they have commissioned over 100 established and emerging local and international artists to make new work in Swansea. For 2015, they have five new commissions from artists, including Colin Priest’s Bay Watch, celebrating the vast sky and heritage along Swansea Bay. Coinciding with the centenary of The Slip Bridge, Priest has created an archive, made a silent film and commissioned a limited edition Slip Bridge Summer Sundae with Joe’s Ice Cream, on sale in their Mumbles and Swansea parlours.

Talking about the work, Priest said, ‘With a background in architecture, my work is largely site-specific and frames a space to consider various forms of narrative around urban and environmental change. Through drawing, writing, film, curation, installation and performance my practice centres on strengthening the value of intangible landscapes. [Bay Watch] is the conclusion to around two-years of conversations, visits to Swansea Bay and an archival investigation into the life of the foreshore. [During] early visits, back in 2013, I was struck by the skies, the topography and the punctuation of civic architectures found along the promenade – notably the Slip Bridge. Investigating since, with the patient help of the West-Glamorgan Archive Service, the narratives around the transformation of the foreshore are considerable and physically chart the city’s active relationship to the sea. For Art Across the City, the work is an invitation to watch the bay and is a composition of encounters and framed opportunities to see this vital landscape through film, archive material, text, ice cream, talks and invitations.

Whenever we say “I’m from …” we expose our fragile relationship to space and time and importantly how our identity is inextricably tied to a place. So when and how this context shifts, it affects us personally and offers a space to reconcile our shared expression of each other’s memories. Working with Joe’s Ice Cream in the creation of the limited edition, Slip Bridge Summer Sundae, for me captures the spirit and intention of the work. As it combines thoughts around the history of a found recipe, it’s making and context, how it tastes and the transformation of the recipe to construct a sensitivity and shared awareness to the past, present and future – all in a passing moment. Through collated ephemera, archive material from the West-Glamorgan Archive Service and buildings the breadth and physicality of memories composite.’

Other artists participating are Michael Stumpf, Graham Dolphin, Emily Speed and David Cushway. A diverse range of workshops, events and outreach activity, along with 11 permanent commissions further support the programme including Jeremy Deller, DJ Roberts, Mark Folds; Pete Fowler, Bedwyr Williams, Sinta Tantra, Sean Puleston, Rik Bennet, Bermingham & Robinson and Niamh McCann.

Art Across The City 2015 will launch on 21st March with an informal opening reception at their Info Hub in the Quadrant Shopping Centre at 3pm. It runs until 1 June. Colin Priest is the Course Leader for BA Interior Spatial Design at Chelsea.

Image: Bay Watch (2015) by Colin Priest

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