Public Sculpture Colouring in Posters Competition       


The Balsall Heath Neighbourhood Plan, developed under the 2011 Localism Act, contains a number of recommendations for public art to be sited at the seven entry points to Balsall Heath. The biennale public sculpture colouring in posters visualised what some of these pieces of public art might be and how they might look in Balsall Heath. 1000 public sculpture colouring in posters were distributed through three local primary schools in Balsall Heath (Ark Tindal, Clifton and Anderton Park). These posters re-imagined the local area by digitally integrating three large public sculptures - by Juneau Projects, Andy Holden and Raqs Media Collective - into the Balsall Heath landscape.

Local children were invited to colour them in and put them up in their living room windows as part of an area wide competition in which over 200 houses entered. The colouring in poster idea is borrowed from Balsall Heath Carnival, a long established part of the community calendar and this probably accounts for the high number of entries (i.e. it was contemporary art by stealth). Over a two day period, we walked/drove around the entirety of Balsall Heath to judge the competition - the areas near the three competing primary schools were peppered with entries, often with three posters in each window. The winning entries received cash prizes.

The Third Attempt - Andy Holden


Andy Holden's The Third Attempt is re-located to near the old Streetwatch portacabin on the junction of Longmore Street and Balsall Heath Road. The skyline in the background shows Birmingham Central Mosque and the high-rise flats of Highgate. 


About The Third Attempt (by Andy Holden)


The Third Attempt was the third in a series of large, temporary, outdoor structures.  The boulder like forms are made from wrapping thin ply wood over an elaborate timber frame and are meant to be seen as incongruous to the landscape in which they find themselves.  They are related to the architectural idea of the 'folly', something that is deliberately wrong within the landscape, often being only a facade to imply something much grander, although the other meaning of folly is not irrelevant.  Perceived as round from the position that the structure is viewed from the objects are only semi-circular, giving an illusion of full roundness, as a folly might imply a castle behind, without there having ever been a castle there at all.  They want to find a new way to think about monuments, without being simply monumental. Being temporary they are thought of as events rather than simply sculptures; the performance of building the work, often an excessive effort for a structure that will only be there a single day, is as important as the object itself, that lives on only through the film of it in its temporary landscape.  It is part comet, part boulder from a Roadrunner cartoon, part pre-historic monument.  


The Third Attempt was built on the polder landscape of Holland - an area of land reclaimed from the sea, totally flat and until recently only occupied by wooden buildings and simple house structures. It is concerned with making visible the area around it, as the object itself is a void, empty, a big nothing, a punctuation mark.  The form later appeared as "The Naturist" on a beach in Essex on Easter Sunday, and again on a rooftop in Athens. 

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