24 Sep Empty shops in Colchester are turning into pop up art galleries this autumn
Artist Mark Titchner is producing a new series of public artworks across Colchester, entitled Is this the place of your dreams? which will be placed in the windows of vacant shop units around the town centre. This follows on from Mark‘s current exhibition at Firstsite, Some questions about us (until 13 October).
To produce these works, the 2006 Turner Prize nominee is asking Colchester residents to consider the issues that they find most significant in the town today and to share them with him in the form of a question. These issues can be personal, local or international, but all need to reflect aspects of life in the town.
The questions will form the basis of the new artworks that he will produce, offering us an insight into the wide range of concerns and aspirations of the diverse people of Colchester. By presenting these concerns as questions we are being encouraged to identify specific issues and to collectively think of creative solutions.
The work is initially being installed in three vacant shops–the former location for Superdrug in Priory Street, Geller Butchers in St John’s Street and a vacant retail space in Culver Square (artists impression, right).
The public are being invited to join in with this project through a series of events over the next 8 weeks, where they can meet Mark and suggest a question that they would like to share.
The first of these events is being held at the Colchester BID Annual Conference on 24 September at ATIK (the former Hippodrome), through a consultation with local businesses. There will also be events at Firstsite on 5 October and 2 November (10am – 3pm) which are open to anyone.
Mark Titchner says “Following on from the experience of exhibiting at Firstsite I’m very excited to take my work out onto the streets of Colchester. I’ll be doing my best to reflect the diverse concerns, hopes and dreams of the people of the town in a series of new artworks that I hope will be thought provoking and create dialogue between both residents and visitors to the town.”
The Is this the place of your dreams? project is funded by the Business Improvement District (BID), Our Colchester.
Sam Good, Business Improvement District Manager – Our Colchester says “Our Colchester Business Improvement District (BID) are very excited to be launching stage one of our vacant unit vision in partnership with Firstsite and Mark Titchner. We feel that Mark’s artwork will bring a new lease of life to empty shop units throughout the town centre encouraging more footfall whilst delivering artwork that has been created with the support of the residents of Colchester. We would like to thank the landlords of the units for allowing us to utilise these for such a great town centre initiative and hope to build on these relationships to support the delivery of our vacant unit vision.”