Lighthouse seeks city-wide voices for council’s Public Art Strategy

Lighthouse has launched an online public survey and series of short films - Let’s Talk Public Art - to encourage residents and communities across Brighton & Hove to voice their opinion about public art in the city.

Commissioned as part of Brighton & Hove City Council’s  10-year Public Art Strategy, in conjunction with Bridget Sawyers Ltd, the community consultation will inform the framework for the council’s policy, ensuring the city’s diverse residents, neighbourhoods, their narratives, histories and experiences are equally reflected.

Shared vision

Donna Chisholm, Assistant Director, Culture, Tourism and Sport, Brighton & Hove City Council said: “Following the coronavirus pandemic, Brighton & Hove will continue to be celebrated as a creative city, with a thriving cultural scene.  We want public art in the city to be for everyone and the principles of our Public Art Strategy should be important to people who live and work here, as well as to those who visit. This is an invitation to help us identify a shared vision and a set of values to shape the delivery of art in public spaces across the city over the next 10 years.”

Five key themes

Lighthouse has produced the series of short films with artists, community workers, historians and writers from across the city to discuss five key themes, including sustainability, wellbeing, connectivity, location and heritage. The films are available to watch on the Lighthouse website and will be presented at community meetings over the next two months. Lighthouse will collate public responses from the films and via an online survey to present to the council to inform the strategy’s future direction.

Short films

Alli Beddoes, Lighthouse CEO & Artistic Director added: “Public art can often have many purposes or physical forms, whether it’s a statue in a public square or a temporary outdoor installation at a festival. It can also provoke intensely divided public opinion, as we have seen recently with historic statues being removed because of their connections to slavery. These short films feature discussion points such as heritage, inclusion, sustainability and wellbeing so we can delve into how people feel about public art. We really want to hear from people who have never thought about or engaged with public art before.”

The Public Art Strategy will help commissioners understand the ways in which artists, planners, enablers, investors and others can work together. It will be delivered through partnerships, including discussions with developers, charities, arts and cultural organisations, local businesses, Business Improvement Districts, Brighton & Hove City Council, artists, makers and craftspeople, working with residents of the city.

Let’s Talk Public Art - Films

Places & Spaces with Matt Adams - Blast Theory and Atif Choudhury - Diversity & Ability

This film explores what and where the spaces and places can be for public art, such as online, digitally, architecturally, historically and particularly in terms of abilities and heritage. Public art is and should be more than standalone works in the public realm, they should be integral to the ways in which we experience and understand our city.

A Green City with Ami Rae - Onca Gallery and Claire Potter - Claire Potter Design

This theme considers what it is to green the city through public art. Brighton & Hove aims to be carbon neutral by 2030 – how can public art support this and do we really know what this means? The conversation takes us through sustainable making of public art and the impact that has on the environment – through to future cities and what we define as a green future city.

Wellbeing with Elsa Monteith - Writer & Artist and Emma Frankland - Artist

There are statistics that demonstrate the power of public art and how it can specifically reduce stress levels and increase and encourage connection. Discussing the sense of identity and belonging in the city and what would it take for the people to influence and connect with other areas of the city? It explores the importance of care – through commissioning art and its legacy as a work but also the community it is developed with and for.

Heritage with Judith Ricketts, Artist and E J Scott, Historian & Curator

Historians Judith Ricketts and E J Scott talk about our understandings of heritage in the city and the systemic definitions of heritage that need breaking down. What is a successful piece of artwork that celebrates heritage in our city? How can public art hold onto the past without erasing it but use it to be informed and carve out a better future for the next generation?

Connectivity & Community with Amartey Golding - Artist and Bobby Brown - Music Producer & Careworker, Hangleton & Knoll

This film discusses ways in which commissioning public art can connect faster to community groups in the city. What a sustainable and economic approach could be for commissioners to work directly with arts groups, centres and collectives to produce the public art for the city and dovetail budgets that could make a bigger impact.


Online Event:

Let’s Talk Public Art - Digital Campfire: 10am to 12 noon, Friday 5 February 2021

Lighthouse wants to hear your thoughts and is hosting a free public meeting online, led by Dom Bailey, Chair of Brighton Experience Group, with artist Judith Ricketts, Atif Choudhury CEO, Diversity & Ability, and Nick Hibberd from Brighton & Hove City Council. The informal event is open to anyone who wants to listen in or voice their opinion.

Take part in the survey, watch the films or register for the event.


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