This was a temporary programme of three new media and light based contemporary art commissions for Canterbury, Herne Bay and Whitstable. Commissioned by CCC with art consultants InSite Arts, as part of Make it Real, the innovative and exciting cultural programme for Canterbury and East Kent.
The proposals of Phaophanit & Oboussier, Heinrich & Palmer and Claire Morgan were selected and then commissioned for Herne Bay, Canterbury and Whitstable respectively. These commissions created an intriguing exploration of three very different light-based media, animating the three townscapes during the winter nights.
Gatefold – Anna Heinrich and Leon Palmer
Gatefold was a large-scale architectural projection onto one side of the Westgate Tower in Canterbury. They created a series of slides, which were carefully calculated to fit precisely into the facade of the Westgate Tower, when projected. Two very powerful slide projectors were used, which dissolved from one slide to the next creating a seamless, continuous sequence of thirty images that began and ended with the building being lit with white light, as if it were a plain sheet of paper. In between, the images built up a series of folds in an architectural origami that appeared to transform, crease, twist and crumple the Westgate Tower until smoothing it out to a plain white sheet at the end. The sequence ran as a continuous loop repeating itself, gently folding and settling, over and over again.
Bay Windows – Claire Oboussier and Vong Phaophanit
This work took its inspiration from the notion of the dream holiday destination. They asked themselves the question; could Herne Bay, which was, and still is, the dream destination for some also hatch new and multiple dream destinations? The aim of the work being to tap into the dream destinations of today and make them visible.
In addition to local feedback and conversation a postcard was produced which was distributed in cafes, the library, local businesses and other public venues asking residents to submit their hand-written dream destinations. The destinations were selected either by intrigue in the place itself or perhaps by a particularly distinctive style of writing. The chosen dream destinations were reproduced in a variety of colours, in fine neon. Nineteen signs in total were exhibited across the town – at the bus station, the train station, down side alleys, in disused shops, on and within a heritage and landmark building along the sea front, with ‘Tokyo’ and ‘Zanzibar’ exhibited on the homes of those who had written and submitted their own dream destinations.
A New Moon – Claire Morgan
Her aspiration was to create a striking focal point in the night sky, to make people pause and ponder. The work played with the scale of the site and made the viewer deliberate over their pre-conceived notions of inside and outside, the domestic and the industrial but also importantly the familiar and the unknown.