For me, the most interesting thing about the Comedy Carpet (one of the UK’s biggest ever pieces of public art which opened yesterday), is the typography and its actual production.
Collaborative artist, Gordon Young was inspired and supported in researching the content for the carpet by Blackpool-based comedy expert, Barry Band and historian and writer Graham Mccann, and on the typography and layout by graphic designer Andy Altmann of why not associates.
image: blackpool council
Five years in the making: one of the most complex pieces of public art ever commissioned at first sight, the comedy carpet looks as if the text is painted, but in fact each of the 160,000+ letters has been individually cut from 30mm solid granite or cobalt blue concrete, arranged into over 300 slabs and then cast into high quality, gleaming white concrete panels. The letters range in size from a few centimetres to over a metre so viewers can enjoy it both close up and from the glass viewing platform in the blackpool tower eye.
The scale and incredibly complex nature of the work meant that comedy carpet team even had to set up its own bespoke studio to make the artwork. after several months of research with input from chemists and engineers the comedy carpet team devised new techniques and recipes for production including a special mix to produce the hardest and whitest of concrete and the perfect blue that won’t fade. The process of making each of the 320 slabs involved many complex stages from cutting, sorting, fettling, and laying out each of the letters, to a 3-stage casting process, curing, trimming, grinding and polishing. and that’s before it was transported to Blackpool for the installation on the headland.
gordon young selects letters for a part of the comedy carpet image: blackpool council
Created as part of the major regeneration of the promenade, the comedy carpet was commissioned by blackpool council, with part of a £4m grant from cabe’s seachange programme. catchphrases, jokes and songs from more than a 1000 comedians are now immortalised in concrete and granite artwork which is situated at the foot of blackpool tower.
Artist Gordon Young has been working in the public realm for over 20 years creating pieces that mine rich seams of social history, engage communities and extend the relationships between art and architecture. at the heart of all gordon’s young’s work is language - words that entice, fascinate and on the comedy carpet, amuse. titter ye not, just like that, oooo-er matron, nudge, nudge wink, wink, oh betty! suit you sir, yeah but no but, what’s on the stick vic? , in the comedy carpet young has created a giant 'giggle map' immortalising the UK’s favourite comedians and comic writers fromthe hey day of music hall to 21st century stand up.
Continuing on from yesterdays street art post, this is Street Art View. A collaborative collection of Google’s Street View locations showcasing street art all over the globe. Tag your favourite spot, share it with friends and help build the biggest art collection in the world.
If someone would like to buy me this Pantone chromatic wheel calender please feel free. Derek Bowers has done a great job on it!
"My brief was to create a calendar for Pantone, the world-renowned authority on colour. The main aim for me was to make this calendar relevant on a global scale. With the colour wheel being universally recognised, I used this and combined it with a mosaic made up of 1440 different images to create my main graphic. Sticking with the whole worldwide idea, I have included many visual references to a host of different countries within the mosaic, and highlighted many of the main religious and cultural holidays throughout the year. To answer a question I have been asked a few times, no 'special software' was used to produce this. The grid was build in Illustrator and I placed all 1440 images by hand in (as close to as possible) some sort of colour order." - Derek Bowers
"Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of." - Charles Richards
Last Tuesday I went to the launch of a new illustration exhibition at Odd Bar in the Northern Quarter. I'd definately recommend popping in if you've got a few spare minutes, there are some really nice pieces - I particulary liked the typographic work. Its on for a month and its all at very affordable prices, I you wanted to take some home with you.
Well, Ive been meaning to blog this for a good couple of months. Here it is, finally.
For Christmas I received the limited edition 50by70 book from Habitat. The book is presented in a screen printed box, and features 20 removable large format prints sized at 50 x 70 cm, just ready to go into one of Habitats standard frames and onto your wall. It took me a little while to decide on how I wanted to display it and which pieces I wanted up on my walls. The good thing about this book is that it is all easily interchangeable, so I can swap the work around as and when I feel the need.
"The idea behind the book is to give people the chance to own beautiful, limited edition artwork by established and up-and-coming artists and then be able to put it straight into a 50cm x 70cm frame," explains Tim Fishlock, editor, designer and curator of the project.
"A lot of time was spent putting together a diverse and hugely talented mix of image-makers," he continues. "50by70 is as much about introducing the work of established artists to new audiences as it is show-casing the skills of the new kids on the block."
Contributing artists: Adrian Johnson, Merijn Hos, Aaron Johnson, John Offenbach, Basso & Brooke, FLAG, Sroop Sunar, Julian House, Kevin Cummins, Stephan Zirwes, Alex Trochut, Jorge Chamorro, Shepard Fairey , Patrick Hughes , Tim Fishlock, Denis Darzacq, Zeloot, :phunk, Tsang Kin-Wah, Anthony Burrill.
"In the original pitch to Habitat I used Patrick Hughes' amazing Sunshine print on the mocked-up cover. When the project got the green light I then had to nervously approach the much-celebrated Mr Hughes to see if he'd be interested in contributing. Fortunately, he said yes and allowed his image to be used on the box too. Other big names on my dream contributors list were the artist Shepard Fairey, fashion designers Basso & Brooke and photographer Denis Darzacq. They all agreed to take part as did a whole other bunch of my favourite creative types."
"The graphic/illustration pieces are printed on Challenger Offset while the photography prints are printed on Marazion - both 140gsm. Print process is litho. The book is stiched and cloth-bound with a 400gsm cover. The perforation is graduated throughout the book to ensure the prints are easy enough to remove - this was the trickiest thing to get right."
I actually went for 80x60 “Aluminus” frames (black) with a 10cm ice-white mount from Zanart.
Over the past couple of months I’ve been working on re-designing my website. Whatever I have had up before has either been a bit of a bodge job or rushed up in time for something happening. The result was a bit of a mess, and a nightmare to update.
So with this new site should hopefully fix all the issues with the old one, and hopefully my work is now portrayed in an easy and accessible way, with a smooth flow around the site and between sections. And hopefully it looks ok too… but I suppose that is for everyone else to decide.
A few further site updates will be coming at a later date.
Renmen' is the Haitian word for Love, the bird in the logo is the Hispaniolan Trogon, the national bird of Haiti..
Throughout 2010 they will be working with a selection of top artists and designers from around the world to create artwork which we will be selling online. Every penny made from art sales will be going to Unicef's appeal fund.