Brighton Magazine

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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Thursday 03 September 2020

Bright for Brighton: Colourful Rainbow Works In Gallery & Outdoors Created From Stories Of Local Communities

Displayed across the suburbs of Brighton, a new work - A Simple Act of Wonder - by artists Walter & Zoniel celebrates human connection and our experiences of joy in unprecedented times.

Audiences can now see it unfold across a series of outdoor spaces (Moulsecoomb and Bevendean) and via a city centre exhibition that is now installed but which will never be seen in real life by the public but can be viewed by a series of digital initiatives online.

Colourful, outdoor artworks are now displayed and can be seen painted on people's homes, on The Bevvy community pub, on a shop (The Good News Brighton) and St George's Hall. 

A large painting also now sits on the grass of The Green, stretching out across this popular leisure area. 

Liz Whitehead, Fabrica's Director, curator of the project said: 

"For Fabrica, A Simple Act of Wonder is the first in what we hope will become a longer term programme of opportunities for artists that link to the Moulsecoomb and Bevendean communities through the visual arts. 

"We hope once it is safe to do so we can work to create new connections across the city as planned and use this work to do so."

The artists have used brightly coloured house paint, grass paint and gels to create interventions on these community spaces and streets, bringing a rich palette of colour to the residential areas. 

With a mix of colour, photography, humour, meditation, heritage and geography, Walter & Zoniel forge a tender connection between people and communities. 

Plaques have also been installed in the neighbourhood, telling the stories of community members the artists worked with to create the project. 

Aspects of the project will also take place at Fabrica and are accessible to online visitors via this link - https://www.fabrica.org.uk/a-simple-act-of-wonder in an exhibition that will never open to the public but can be seen through online films, in a series of events to announced shortly, drone footage and other image based media. 

Walter & Zoniel spent the early part of 2020 getting to know the communities of Moulsecoomb and Bevendean to develop the series of collaborative interventions. 

All of the works respond to the stories that they gathered from the residents they met and the architectural character and history of the place.  

The work creates a temporary transformation of the neighbourhood through a new aesthetic that teases out a different story about the locations, a story that complicates and contradicts the prevailing narrative of this area. 

Objects from residents - a troll, a photograph, a small ship and an oral history via a VR headset - all sit in the gallery at Fabrica, connecting the two spaces further. 

At Fabrica, Walter & Zoniel have applied an equally bright treatment to the gallery space, creating a large floor piece that echoes the interventions at Moulsecoomb and Bevendean, whilst playing off interior details, such as the stained glass windows, steep curves and tall ceilings. 

A new series of Walter & Zoniel's 'over-painted photographic portraits' - which remove the visual identity of their subject whilst leaving their settings intact - are also featured in the exhibition. 

During lockdown, the artists have been making a series of video diaries to record the project and giving an insight into their process of making the work. The videos are published on Fabrica's YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/Fabrica08/videos

by: Mike Cobley




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