Beacon installation will be open at the East Cliff Bandstand in Ramsgate – The Isle Of Thanet News
A set of four galvanized steel tripods with rotating discs atop the East Cliff Bandstand in Ramsgate will be ‘open’ on September 30.
The Turner Contemporary program is part of his Pioneering Places project with some 70 schoolchildren from Ramsgate, St Laurence’s Junior Academy and Ramsgate Arts Primary working with artist Conrad Shawcross.
For the temporary installation, which will last up to a year, the four structures will have a perforated steel disc above a steel pole and will be weighted by a tripod base. The installation is called Beacons.
Each structure will be operated by hand by a handle which will allow each disc to rotate smoothly when turned. The handle can be removed (by Turner Contemporary) when it may be necessary to restrict access to the artwork.
The children involved in the project researched Ramsgate, emphasizing the historic character of its royal port, and this was used for their ideas for the artwork.
Themes are drawn from nautical signage and ideas on Ramsgate and its Royal Harbor as a place of refuge as well as play and playfulness, noting Ramsgate’s legacy as a tourist destination; Benevolent – noting how to deal with environmental problems, pollution of the port, sea, air and waste in the city and modern machinery – nodding to Georgian civil engineering, like the Ramsgate Locks, the bollards, pond valves and John Smeaton’s dry dock.
Additional information about the artwork will be displayed on temporary and removable vinyl graphics installed in the bandstand.
The creation will have a hidden word hidden in the drawing, based on a coded alphabet designed by the children. The word HOME was chosen by children to be the message the beacons send at sea. It follows child labor exploring Ramsgate’s maritime heritage and the history of its famous Royal Harbor – the only designated Royal Port in the Kingdom United, which will celebrate its 200th anniversary in September. HOME represents what Ramsgate meant to children and also provided a message of welcome and warmth to anyone arriving in the city by sea or land.
The materials used refer to those that can be found in the vicinity of the royal port such as the steel used in shipbuilding.
The Bandstand is a Grade II listed asset and designated open public space, in the Ramsgate Conservation Area. The structure dates from the late 1930s and includes the patterned dance floor, perimeter wall, balustrades and steps, as well as the bandstand itself.
The beacons are believed to be the greatest piece of art to have been commissioned by children.
Conrad Shawcross said: “It was so rewarding to work with the kids of Ramsgate on this unique kid-led initiative, the project has been an odyssey in itself and I can’t wait for the kids and the city to finally see these pieces. !
“We took on the challenge of trying to create the most visually appealing coding system – by adopting the navigation languages of the past, namely the semaphore and exploring the models of moray eels and how they work. The kids and I adopted scale, color, and movement to create a series of mechanical devices that send a message of hope and welcome as far out into the sea as possible.
Conrad has completed a number of major public commissions around the world and is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Arts. In 2011, he was one of the first artists to be featured at Turner Contemporary as part of its inaugural exhibition.
In addition to working with Shawcross, the children also collaborated with the Turner Prize-winning collective Assemble, which was tasked with creating a toolkit that aims to inform planners, policy makers and those in the education and of creation on how children can positively contribute to the creation of places. .
Cllr Ash Ashbee, Head of Thanet District Council, said: “We are delighted that we were able to help facilitate this project. It’s wonderful to see how the collaboration between local children and a renowned artist has led to such an exciting new work of art. Ramsgate is home to a diverse and creative community, as well as being rich in history, and we look forward to seeing the artwork settle in the city as the Royal Harbor celebrates its bicentennial.