Brighton Magazine

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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Monday 18 January 2021

Brighton-Based Arts Charity Seek City-Wide Voices To Offer Opinion On Public Art In The City

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. 
Credit Antony McIntosh

The community consultation will inform the framework for  Brighton & Hove City Council's policy, ensuring the city's diverse residents, neighbourhoods, their narratives, histories and experiences are equally reflected.
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Donna Chisholm, Assistant Director, Culture, Tourism and Sport, BHCC said:

"Brighton & Hove is celebrated as a creative city, with a thriving cultural scene made up of artists, digital and creative industries, musicians, event managers, filmmakers, craftspeople, art spaces and live performance venues. 

"We want public art to be for everyone, not just for those who work in the creative sector or who are regular art-goers. 

"We want to develop the principles for the Public Art Strategy with the people who live and work here to help us identify a shared vision and values to guide the strategy and shape its delivery over the next 10 years." 

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. 

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. 

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, Fri 5 February 2021 

Lighthouse want 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 from Diversity & Ability, Donna Chisholm and Nick Hibberd from BHCC. The informal event is open to anyone who wants to listen in or voice their opinion.

To take part in the survey, watch the films or register for the event visit: 

by: Mike Cobley




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