Public Art Programme Meadows and Buchan Street
The artwork that has been commissioned has developed from workshops with the communities living in and around the Meadows and has been designed to enhance the public space provided throughout the scheme.
‘Migrations’ by Lilah Fowler references the meadow location and the plant life that can be found in these habitats. Taking her inspiration from brightly coloured Wax Cap fungi that grow in meadowland environments, Lilah has created an artwork to represent the distribution of fungi spores drifting and dispersing in the wind. The location of the work on the façade of the community centre is intended to act as an identifier for the centre, prominent and eye catching from Arbury Road.
Working with researchers in mycology at the University of Cambridge, Lilah explored the relationship fungi have in supporting the surrounding plant life. The vast, underground networks of plant roots and fungi mycelium assist each other in fighting off disease by exchanging knowledge about their environments; they absorb and provide vital nutrients to help each other survive. Fowler intends this mutual support and exchange to be seen as a metaphor for local communities. People live and care for one another via the relationships they build and how they communicate and look out for one another.
Further artworks located on the interior glazing of the building highlight the plants at the Meadows, with poems written by Alec Finlay that provide clues as to the plant’s origins and former medicinal uses.
‘The Sun Spoke’ by Alec Finlay. Alec was commissioned to develop work for seven of the CIP sites, creating pieces that are specific to their location, whilst connecting the different sites to identify them as part of the wider investment programme across Cambridge, helping to establish cohesion and sense of place.
Alec is a poet and sculptor and has created a range of ‘living sculptures’, tailored to each location. Microtonal in their approach, they are dispersed across the park, providing moments of reflection – such as the bird boxes with single-word poems – through to works which provide a relationship with the other artists’ proposals for the site.
To hear Alec talking about the project please click on the link below:
Artists Alec Finlay and Lilah Fowler were commissioned to create new artworks for the Meadows and Buchan Street sites. To find out more about the artists and their previous work, please click on the photos below.
Background Meadows and Buchan Street
The proposed developments will see the creation of 78, council-rented homes at the Meadows site, along with enhancements to the existing open spaces. A new community hub ‘Meadows Connity Centre’ has already opened at the site.
At Buchan Street 28 new homes, a shop, new open spaces and a community café will be created.